Your church structure answers the key question ‘what is your church building?’
I am defining ‘structure’ as the people, programs, and processes of your church. Another way of explaining structure is the who (your staff and volunteers), the what (your events and activities) and the how (your policies and systems).
Many churches have an established structure, but it isn’t fit for purpose. The structure is meant to serve your vision and culture so it needs to be organic and dynamic, ready to change when God does a new thing. Unfortunately, it can be the case that we have established a church structure that worked well in the previous season of the church, but it no longer helps. In fact, it could even hinder because of its inflexibility. Without intending to, we can become ‘structure first’ in our thinking and quench the Spirit’s work that He is wanting to do through us.
Our structure needs to be like a wineskin, which is flexible according to the wine inside it. Wineskins would stretch according to the need, but make no mistake – the wineskin served the purpose of the wine, and not the other way round. That is why we need to consider our church structure only after we have determined our mission, vision, and core values.
A rigid or outdated church structure will impede or stop the purposes of God in your church. In contrast, when a church has a structure that serves the organisational heart, there are a number of benefits:
1. A structure that serves ensures a clarity of activity that streamlines the ministry review and evaluation process.
2. A structure that serves provides a framework that is naturally mission-centric.
3. A structure that serves focuses the use of resources towards the vision.
4. A structure that serves creates a spiritual greenhouse that creates space for the culture to grow.
5. A structure that serves protects against bureaucracy, which is a structure-led organisation.
6. A structure that serves is flexible and responsive to unfolding strategic developments.
Church structure is one key aspect we need to ensure is a strength, but there are more – you can discover the other aspects of a healthy church here.