Is there a church structure that works? A healthy church has an organic structure, which helps the church steward a culture and build in a way that will see success.
This post is part of a series looking at the five essential components of organisationally healthy churches. The posts are:
What is Organic Structure?
Simply, it is the framework. ‘Structure’ is 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). Your church structure answers the key question ‘what is your church building?’
A church structure that works is the one that helps and doesn’t hinder your efforts. 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 now no longer helps. In fact, it could even hinder God’s agenda 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 can 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.
Why is Organic Structure important?
It leads to good decision-making and governance processes, growth in individuals and ministries, and resources being maximised and used well. It creates a church structure that works.
What does healthy Organic Structure bring to a church?
- It provides a mission-centric framework.
- It focuses the use of resources towards the vision.
- It creates space for culture to grow.
- A structure that serves protects against bureaucracy, which can be defined as a structure-led organisation
- It changes and is responsive in line with strategic development.
- It ensures clarity of activity that streamlines the ministry review and evaluation process.
What happens if Organic Structure is lacking?
Resources will not be maximised, or the church will be program-driven, process-led, or politically-led instead of being mission-led.
What helps develop Organic Structure?
- The mission taking precedence over policies and procedures.
- Adequate facilities, finances and leaders in place to see progress in mission, vision and culture.
- Team members – volunteer and paid – clear on their roles, responsibilities, goals and expectations, and empowered to lead.
- Board/trustees, leadership team and staff working in unity over an agreed mission, vision and culture.
How healthy is the Organic Structure of your church?
Is it organic, as in, flexible and able to change with the new demands, new fruit and new activity a new season will bring?
Is it structured, as in, ordered, organised, administrated and supporting people and ministries do what they need to do?
- Discover how the health of your current structure impacts other areas of your church in my FREE Church Alignment Assessment.
- Learn how I help churches like yours create, fix and amend their structure by going here.
- Download a FREE chapter of my book ‘Keys to Church Health’ by clicking here.
- Review the other Keys to Church Health by going here.