Giants or Milk & Honey?
Every church is different and yet every church is working toward some great unified goals as well. Not only are we all “on the same team” across the world, it’s important to remember that we’re all on the same team internally as well. Different ministries within a church have different concerns about various details.
When a team gets together to make a decision, it can be one of the most painful processes ever. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you know what's coming and you’re well prepared, it could even be fun. There are four phases to the group decision making process. And you can think about it as episodes in the life of Moses. The first two phases can be managed as a smaller team or even as an individual who will be making the primary recommendation — and the final two phases will be more obvious in how the group interacts as a whole.
Seek M-Level Clarity
Before you begin searching for solutions, you need to clearly define your problems and know your goals. And that means you know what a solution looks like. Clearly define the goals you are hoping for. Pray about your church’s challenges: growth, giving, leadership, facilities, of course the list might go on and on… Your technology can only be part of the solution. We hope Ekklesia 360 is a major win for you and we’ve seen many churches with great technology wins, but your team needs agreement on the problem you’re trying to solve before you can move forward with a solution.
Buy-In From 12 --> 4
Twelve people was the right number for scouting out the Promised Land. But that’s too many to research your church website. Do some soul searching and decide who's the most crucial to your decision-making process. We recommend a maximum of four people to make the recommendation, and really only one decision leader. That’s probably you if you’re reading this!
But this is the key: the rest of your team has to trust that the people who are making this decision care about all the ministries in your church. Assign some of your “scouts” to talk to different ministries in your church (finance committee, children’s ministry, A/V team, etc.) and ask what’s important to them. Let all the areas of your church feel represented at the table even if they don’t all get a seat in the decision meeting. These scouts will research from both directions: the technology solutions and the communication troubles “in the trenches” as it were.
Milk, Honey, Giants
You will find people will generally fall into one of three categories when it comes to how they adopt new technology.
- “Milkmen” want to stay with basic/simple solutions you already have and that they already know and love. They are overly concerned with how the new fits with what is easy and what they already know.
- “Honey Dippers” will look for the things they are excited about or will fixate on a feature they feel like they understand -- regardless of how important (or not) it actually is. They become easily enamored of something specific and usually flashy.
- Others will see “Giants” in the land of your software solutions and will be afraid or will dig in their heels no matter what. They won’t want to transfer data or learn a new system, they will second guess the process and resist the training.
Be aware of your tendencies and help your team learn to see their own weakneses. This is really an example of Leadership by Influence.
Make the Leap
Somewhere along the line you will need to make the leap. You gotta just do it. It is unlikely that you will ever get full alignment from the entire team. Somewhere along the way, you’re going to have to lead the charge and jump from side “a” of the problem to side “b” of your chosen technology solution.
Get full buy-in, research the features and tools you’ll need, sieze the day, and jump on in. The water’s fine.
Welcome to Ekklesia 360!
Of course, we hope you make the leap to Ekklesia 360. But this information about group dynamics is hopefully applicable to other decisions you have to make as well.
Now that you know a little what to expect from your team, it’s time to get into the details of the questions and answers. And you can stop talking about your new website and start working on your new website.