One of the things I’ve learned most this year from the books I’ve been reading is the critical nature of systems. I’m absolutely convinced that systems help you win. You can be a great leader with a lot of charisma, but if you don’t have solid systems, you’ll never maintain what you want to achieve, if you even get there in the first place. I mentioned this in a post a few weeks ago along with the books I’ve read this year that supported this idea.

So, a few weeks ago I rented the movie Moneyball. I don’t like baseball, but I LOVED this movie. I saw incredible application of both systems and leading through change told through this movie, which was based on a true story.

Here’s the trailer to the movie. Pay special attention to what happens from 20 seconds in until 1:10 seconds, but the entire clip gives you the big idea.

Essentially the story revolved around how and underdog team without adequate resources could look at the game of baseball differently and actually compete with the bigest organizations in the league. It required less of looking at “star” players and the high caliber (and costly) skills they brought to the team and looking at the nuts and bolts of what each player contributed to the game. Basically, they were looking at individuals who could consistently get on base. If you have enough people who can get on base, eventually you’ll get enough people making it home and the more people you have making it home, the higher your chance of winning the game. This systematic approach toward the game of baseball turned the A’s from a team with little hope to a winning team. Catch the movie, it’s a great one.

The application toward ministry is simple. Just because your church doesn’t have a multi-million dollar kid’s facility doesn’t mean it can’t be a winning ministry. Just because your ministry doesn’t have skilled and polished communicators doesn’t mean it can’t be an incredible experience for families. Even if there is no staff and very little money, a systematic approach may be the strategy that leads you toward a winning season.

Define your wins? Usually they’re a lot smaller than we like to think. Forget about the “star players,” but take stock in what each person on your team can do and have them exert their energy toward your wins, doing what they do best. When this is done consistently over the long haul, you’ll win. We have to redefine our image os success and put people to work… on a system to see the long term winning results.