It’s All About How We ‘Tee Up’
Whether we are leading ourselves, a team, or an organization, the journey is always from our here to our there. It’s really that simple, and it can also be fun!
Dr. Suess once stated that, “from there to here and from here to there funny things are everywhere.”
Whatever your journey may be (or end up being), be sure to see the “funny things” and laugh. It makes the journey so much more enjoyable! However, beyond its potentially humorous simplicity, it may not always feel that simplistic. It’s a journey that requires both dreaming and planning, intentionality and adaptivity, risk and assessment, and all the other yins and yangs that are part of every movement forward.
A while back, I was thinking about the journey from Here to There, and I realized the only difference from Here to There is the letter “T” – you add “t” to “here” and you’re “there”! If only it were that easy (just don’t put the “t” at the back end, spelling “heret”, that’s Malaysian for “dragging”). With this analogy in mind, perhaps, like a golfer that tees up his or her ball to reach its destination, there are some things we can do to “T” up our ‘ball’ (journey) to reach its There!
(It would be helpful to note that golfers use tees to create a spin on the ball that reduces resistance as it flies through the air – instead of hitting the ball from directly on the ground. Resistance is unavoidable in any journey and helps shape the way forward, but reducing it is always a good thing).
Here are some Ts to consider to set your venture up for Kingdom success:
1. Teamwork: It’s been said that, “if you want to travel faster, go alone; if you want to travel farther, go together.” The journey from here to there is rarely about speed (unless you are an Olympic sprinter or running away from a swarm of bees) – it’s ultimately about the distance; and this requires you to travel in community. To reach a goal, milestone, or vision – even an individual or personal one – is a team sport. It really does take 10 hands to get the ball in the hoop! In today’s world, it’s all about collaboration, open-sourcing, and tapping into collective input if you want to reach your destination as a leader or organization. Be sure to start the process with teammates who you intentionally invite to shape the steps forward. A resource to check out is Collaboration Cube.
2. Tailor: If teamwork is about unity, tailoring is about uniqueness. As pastors and church leaders, we are all about sharing the universal Good News, yet our call is to uniquely express that story through our place and people. One’s journey is to be tailor-made, where our unique thread (story) is both expressed and embodied. As Will Mancini put it, don’t lose your “way to your own DNA.” God has never been about xeroxing ministries! Part of the tailoring process includes asking key questions: 1) What are the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities in the local context that you can address from a Kingdom perspective? 2) What are the collective gifts, talents, and resources in your church that can be shared, given, and distributed to the surrounding community to meet those needs? 3) What energizes and animates your team? What are the collective passions that keep the dreams of your team alive - your “apostolic esprit” that galvanizes you toward your kingdom vision? Spend some time as a team working and wrestling through these questions – for it’s in the convergence of answering and applying them that you will reach your stunningly unique influence and impact! A resource to check out is Kingdom Concept.
3. Test/Try: If tailoring is about incarnating, testing/trying is about innovating. In his book, Kingdom Innovation, Doug Paul writes that the five steps or phases to innovation are: 1) Identification; 2) Ideation; 3) Experimentation; 4) Mobilization; and 5) Multiplication. Here we are talking about both ideating and experimenting – trying something new or different, thinking outside the box, or getting your “blue-ocean” on! Because I believe God is the most creative being around, the church should be the most creative enterprise around! Get your team together and brainstorm, experiment, try new things, implement, and iterate, then iterate again – if it fails, that’s ok, try again and fail forward. Create a safe space for experimentation and growth! A resource to check out is Kingdom Innovation.
4. Thank: The ever-famous quote by Max DePree is germane here: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.” As you journey forward with your team or congregation, be sure to thank them – to show gratitude and appreciation. When people are not validated and affirmed for their efforts and sacrifices, they feel devalued and deflated. Infuse and inflate them with confidence and courage. Send them a thank-you note, spotlight them in a team meeting, and/or gift them with something they appreciate. A resource to check out is 10 Creative Ways to Build a Culture of Appreciation at Work.
At Chemistry Staffing, we love leaders and churches! We are totally committed to jumping into the trenches with you to see you reach your “There”! Your journey forward may involve addressing matters of staffing, ministry systems and structures, and/or overall strategy.
Whatever it may be, we are both here and there for you. Our passion is to help ‘Tee’ you up for success!
...And who knows, you just might get a hole-in-one!