Lately I’ve been talking about organization in Kidmin and how far too often we just default to the departmental model even though it might not be the most efficient in the long run.
So, I’m going to throw out a little theory here. It’s what helped us get to where we are now… or at least where we are heading. I throw out these ideals today and tomorrow I’ll wrap up this post with what this actually is going to look like for my team.
When I look at Kidmin in my church, I see three main functions.
Program: The look and feel of what happens on Sunday. The implementation of teaching, curriculum and what kids actually experience.
Volunteers: This is the heart and soul of the ministry (it should be). Volunteers need to be recruited, interviewed, placed, trained, and most importantly… loved and cared for. I believe that Â a lot of time, energy and resources needs to be thrown at volunteers and when they feel loved and cared for, they’ll be more effective in their roles and they’ll stick around much longer.
Operations: This is everything administrative within the organization. This includes budgets, room requisitions, ordering, inventory, facility needs, resource management, communication, policies and procedures, systems and processes. This is a very important and detailed area.
Okay, so it isn’t always true but this is what I see. This is three different people. This is three different personalities. This is three different leaders. The program leader is a creative that can organize a bunch of artists, communicators and musicians. The volunteer leader is a people person. He or she is highly relational but can also be blunt and direct when needed. They are constantly in the lives of lots of people and lead others to do the same. The operations leader is an administrative guru (nerd). Not only can this person think in theÂ languageÂ of Â spreadsheets, graphs and policies, but they can lead administrative volunteers as well.
I’m not saying that they don’t exists, but how many creatives do you know that are great at managing budget deadlines. Very few, huh? Same thing with the people persons too, huh?
So, what if you actually didn’t have an elementary or early childhood director? What if instead you had one staff member who was totally dedicated to leading all your volunteers. They lead leaders who lead your volunteers ensuring that everyone was well cared for? What if you had one person who was totally dedicated to curriculum, teaching, music, signs and communication? Wouldn’t that be amazing. Maybe you’re thinking of what it would be like or you to focus on something like that knowing in confidence that another staff member was taking care of all the other details. What if you had a person on your team that made sure you were never late turning in a receipt? What if they made sure you were getting the most out of your budget? It would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
I think what I like about this system the most is the dependence it creates on each member of the team. Too often in a departmental model, the teams can get segmented and distant. Because of this, you can have a great elementary program and an early childhood program that is limping along. With this model that I suggested, it requires each area to run well. If one fails, the others suffer. This provides incredible accountability, but when one area excels, so do the others. I really like that.
So, why not? What would be holding you back? What do you think?
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I agree, Kenny. I’ve always pursued a gift-based organization. I first was exposed to the concept at Willow Creek and Sue Miller wrote about it some in “Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour…” p97 and calls it the 4 sets of eyes:
It goes very well with a gift-based volunteer structure as well.
The CM leadership at Grace Church in Noblesville, IN schooled me in the concept as well.
What you said about a volunteer leader made a lightbulb go off for me! Thanks for sharing!
I am intriqued, Kenny. Great post.
Here’s another benefit of a team organized in this fashion: You can cross train your staff. Instead of having one person overseeing the same area each and every weekend, you could rotate your staff to lead in different areas each and every weekend. Does that make sense?
Take a look at Ephesians 4. There Paul juxtapositions thoughts on the unity that we have as believers through one God, one Lord and one Spirit with thoughts on the diversity that exists within the body of Christ. It seems that there is something about our distinctives that make us function better as a body.
Jesus has doled out varied gifts of service, in varying degrees, to believers in Christ. Why shouldn’t our teams reflect this truth?
I fell asleep thinking about this last night, and woke up thinking about it again this morning. Can’t wait to see the next installment in this series.
Ha! Did this series invade your dreams Craig! I love it!