The 1-2-3-4 Steps to Implementing a "Go-Direct" Culture
As we said in the July 2016 blog (see side bar), a healthy church is a growing church. But could the behaviors of your staff, leaders and congregation (or even you!) be sabotaging the health and growth of your community? If you have not implemented a "Go Direct” Culture, the answer to that question could be “yes.”
Creating a "Go Direct” Culture among your leadership and congregation will support a healthy environment that can foster expansion and growth. And, it's as easy to implement as 1-2-3-4.
This is a behavior you and your ecclesiastical team (you, your staff ministers and your practitioners/chaplains) must first embrace and implement. Three to six months before embarking on Step 2, bring it to this team in a face-to-face meeting and then in follow up emails/conversations.
In the face-to-face meeting, cover the reasons behind the need for this (do you have a situation in your community you could use as an example where “going direct” did not happen and confusion, hurt and upset occurred? If so, and if that can be shared, it could be a powerful example of why this is needed.) Next share the Who, What, When and Where of the culture:
Who: Everyone, starting with this group!
What: Whenever there is an upset or concern.
When: As soon as possible after the upset or concern (don’t let things fester!), but after seeing a fellow minister/practitioner/chaplain for clarity and prayer.
Where: In a private, one-on-one meeting with the person who can do something about the issue or with whom you are upset. There may be times with it is valuable to have a neutral party (an uninvolved minister or practitioner/chaplain) present to help keep the conversation on track.
As a powerful handout and guide for this meeting and for follow up emails and conversations, see the “Go Direct for Congregation” document. It has great examples and support for the “How To’s” of being a “Go Direct” person.
Invite your ecclesiastical team into an experiment with this idea for the next three to six months. Offer your support and guidance. Come together at the end of the experiment to debrief, share, support and commit to taking this out to the congregation.
Now that the ecclesiastical team is on board, bring this to your leadership (board(s), ministry/team leaders and staff) in a face-to-face meeting with follow up emails and conversations, similar to what you did with the ecclesiastical team. Use the “Go Direct for Congregation” handout as a way to guide and support the training. Have your ecclesiastical team present at the meeting to share their experience with this over the past few months.
It is now time to introduce this to the congregation at large. The ideal place for this is at an annual or special membership meeting. Make the “Go Direct for Congregation” document available to everyone.
You now have had the ecclesiastical and leadership teams involved for some time and should have lots of wonderful testimonials of the closeness, love and healthier relationships that this way of being has worked within your community and even beyond the walls. Sprinkle those liberally throughout the training.
Keep this alive by practicing and holding people accountable to practice going direct and by presenting it as part of your community’s culture in a component of your New Member class. Provide the “Go Direct for Congregation” document as a handout.
Here’s to the health and growth of your spiritual community!