I would bet you have a preferred future. You can see a better future for your church, but getting your team to see the same thing you do can be hard. And when they get it, if they don’t see a plan to get there, their excitement can quickly turn to discouragement.
They can feel like the team is “behind the eight ball,” like any move forward is blocked.
Before you know it, a scarcity mentality can creep in. "Yeah, but we don’t have enough leaders to do that." "Yeah, but we don’t have enough money to get there." "Yeah, but we don’t have enough time to get that done."
Why don’t the get it?
Most often, they haven’t had the chance to wrestle with the problem.
I’m not talking about thinking about the problem. That can happen in an instant. You can point toward a change that needs to happen, and they can think about it in that moment and agree, but they haven’t wrestled.
Even then, it can feel like there are too many problems that need to be solved (more than you know…everyone has an opinion). And if you don’t approach these problems in a strategic manner it can feel like your team is always pushing uphill.
So, instead of getting stuck “behind the eight ball,” allow your team to focus on what’s most important and start building some momentum. Easy, early wins to get things moving forward.
Enter the “Eight Ball Challenge”, to help your team wrestle with the problem and make progress toward the future. All while building buy-in and excitement around what the future might hold.
Step 1// Define the Canvas
It’s easy to see every problem in every area of the church. Take a moment to focus the team on an area, department or program that needs attention.
Step 2// List All The Issues
Grab a whiteboard and start brainstorming. Ask the team to list every issue, small or large that needs to be addressed in the next few months. Let the list get as long as needed. Write everything down. Even if you think it’s only a personal opinion.
Step 3// Vote
Ask your team to vote on their top 5 issues. Give them a marker and tell them they have five votes. They can put them all on one issue if they think it’s most important or they can spread them around to up to five issues they think are most important to solve right now. Once everyone has completed their vote, tally the results and highlight the top 5 issues that need to be addressed. Those are going to be the most important focus for the next few months. (Team leader gets veto power and can replace any of the top issues if they see fit)
Step 4// Discuss the Who/What/When
For each of the top 5 issues, discuss WHAT needs to happen to resolve that issue. WHO on the team can run point? How can everyone on the team help address the issue? And WHEN they think it can be resolved.
Step 5// Review Regularly
Then, as a part of your regular meeting rhythm, review these top 5 issues and their progress. You don’t have to spend a bunch of time on the details, but regularly putting them in front of the team will help drive progress (no one likes to see a project stall…that’s just embarrassing).
If your team can recognize the most important issues and be able to visualize their resolve, that breeds excitement. Everyone is a part of the solution and the entire team gets excited about the progress. Every early win adds fuel to the fire.
Soon enough, no one will feel like “behind the eight ball” and problems don’t seem as big because the team begins to believe they have the power and tools to tackle them.
Go for it, take that eight ball and throw it in the trash. Don’t let it ever get in the way again.