team meetings

Registration is Open

Take Your Church to the Next Level at the first ever Northwest Church Health & Growth Accelerator.

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I'm excited to invite you to a very special event I'm co-hosting with my good friend Gabe Kolstad.

Multiply PDX and Stronger Sundays are coming together to present the first ever "Northwest Church Health & Growth Accelerator" featuring guest teacher, Tony Morgan (live via video). We'll be hosting this event at Westside Community Church in Hillsboro on Saturday, May 4 from 10am - 2pm. 

The format for the day will be workshop-style with opportunities to network with likeminded church leaders, and Tony Morgan will be joining virtually to teach at one of the sessions. Participants can expect to walk away with proven concepts and tools for church health, growth and impact, with lessons gleaned from decades of ministry in the northwest. 

Registration includes lunch, workshop materials, and a copy of Tony Morgan's book, "The Unstuck Church." 

I hope you'll join us for this fun and helpful time sharpening our skills as leaders. 

Can't wait to see you & your team there!

-StevenJBarker

What Size Is Your Rear View Mirror?

Leading a team means that there is a constant tension between learning from our past and preparing for the future. Lead one way and your team grows, lead the other way and your team’s success get’s smaller and smaller as time passes. 

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When I was taught to drive, I was taught to scan. Scan the road in front of me, check my speed, scan my mirrors and repeat. I was to constantly keep tabs on what was going on around me. 

This same skill could prove itself useful as we lead our teams. In fact, for many of our teams, the most important two questions we can ask when planning or problems solving are: 

  1. What size is our rear view mirror?
  2. What size is our windshield? 

The answers to those two questions can define a lot for your team, because the direction you are looking decides whether you are reacting to the future or recreating the past. 

“The direction you are looking decides whether you are reacting to the future or recreating the past.”
— StevenJBarker

Rear View Mirror

There is this great little line on the side mirrors of vehicles in the US, Canada and India. It says  “Objects in mirror are closer then they appear.” In a vehicle this warning exist because the mirrors’ convexity gives a useful field of view, but it also makes each object appear smaller. 

The same is true when we look into our own history. It can feel like we see more clearly when looking back on our story, almost as if we can tell exactly why something worked or failed. In reality we aren’t that perceptive. Objects in our memory may be bigger or smaller then we remember. 

We might look back at our history and think that our small group ministry exploded because we went through a particular study. While that might be partly true, it likely isn’t the only reason. And if we stare for to long we eventually think the solution to our current problem is that we haven’t adequately recreated the past. 

Windshield

A large, unobstructed windshield on the other hand is exactly what we need. A clear line of vision down the road at the obstacles that might keep us from reaching our goals. Each obstacle is just that, a puzzle that needs to be solved in order to keep the team moving forward and accomplishing our goals. 

It seems obvious but if your team is going to keep moving forward you need to spend more time looking forward. More time reacting the the future, less time recreating the past. 

No one would ever build a car that had a bigger rear view mirror than windshield, right? Don’t let your team fall into the same trap. 


Question of the day: If you had to grade your team, which is bigger? Your windshield or your rear view mirror? 

Removing the Information Crevice Between Staff & Volunteers

Sometimes it can be difficult to build an organization of people who are unavailable. Not unavailable in a negative sense but unavailable as in, they wear many hats, and volunteering on your team is only one of them. That very often means they aren’t available for staff meetings or planning meetings or many meetings at all…but they are still committed.

So what do you do?

How do you remove the information crevice between staff and volunteers? 

This hole unintentionally exists and it’s a problem we deal with on a regular basis. For our church this was especially complicated when we transitioned to becoming a multi campus church. How would we ensure that each campus had the information it needed to create a fantastic weekend experience every single weekend

An email wouldn’t cut it. 

So, we introduced a conference call into the mix.

 
 

This allowed us to clearly communicate our game plan EVERY weekend without being in the same room. Here are the four simple steps we took to implementing this new tool with our team. 

1. Sign up for Uberconference.com

Uberconference is an online conference call service that really is conference calling of the 21st century. It has a visual interface that allows you to see who is speaking (in case you don’t recognize their voice), a powerful per-caller control to mute the guy with all the background noise (sorry Max) and you can even turn on pin-less access so no one has to remember some random pin number to get access. I seriously love this service, and that don't pay me to say that either. 

2. Turn on Auto-Dial

By entering everyone’s number ahead of time we can allow the system to auto dial everyone at the same time so there is no waiting for that one person to finally get on the call (or forget about it for that matter). 

3. Hit Record

By recording the call we can share the entire conversation, or in this case, the entire "worship service walk through" with anyone not present on the call (aka the rest of the team that has other day jobs). This allows them to hear what otherwise would be difficult to explain in email. 

4. Share It All

Once the call is finished we share the call recording, the script and the service plan with the entire team via Azendoo. This allows our volunteer and part time staff to review the material and ask questions before Sunday. 

Sharing information in an organization like the church creates trust and communicates value.
— StevenJBarker

Ultimately sharing information in an organization like the church creates trust and communicates value. For us, conference calls have been one of the those tools that’s helped us stay flexible and on the same page, no matter where we are. 

Question of the day: What tools do you use to stay on the same page with your staff and volunteers?