Systematic Deconstruction Within Ministry

What is Systematic Deconstruction as it relates to Ministry? In order to answer that question we need a firm definition of the word System: Set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines established or formulated to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem.

When each of us thinks about our own Church and even the Ministry we lead or serve in, a myriad of “this is how we do things” pops into our minds. Hopefully most of your church’s methods and “ways” work well, but some are failing & only hinder momentum.

For those “ways of doing things” that are failing, we as leaders have three choices as to how we will move forward: we’ll either “pull the plug” . . . and quickly replace the old with a new approach or method, we will take the Systematic Deconstruction approach, OR, and this is the worst option possible, we’ll do nothing.

I must admit that I am a “pull the plug” kind of leader. If I spot something that is not working up to par my initial reaction is to quickly make a change. BUT, this choice is not always the best option.

Across the street from Grace Community Church’s offices, I have the pleasure of witnessing the death of an old and outdated hospital. You see, Clarksville has a new and improved hospital across town, and so we lucky few on staff get to pull into a dust clogged, noisy parking lot each morning until the amazing crew across the street dismantles the old hospital (not being a smart-elic, these guys are really doing a SUPER job).

I am accustomed to seeing most buildings of this size BLASTED in one fell swoop. Sometimes this is the best option because of time, money, and the surroundings. But this is not the case with our old hospital, the crew is tearing it apart bit by bit & recycling what can be recycled  for when they build a new Publix in its place . . . YAY! Sorry, just excited about PUBLIX!

OK, OK, I will refocus here. Sometimes in ministry changes can best be carried out in the same approach, what I call Systematic Deconstruction. Putting in place a system (or game plan) that will enable you to bit by bit change the pieces of the puzzle so that you smoothly deconstruct one method by replacing it with something new without throwing your entire ministry into a temporary tail spin.

I think this approach should only be used in rare cases, but, after counsel and much prayer, if systematic deconstruction is the way to go, then here are a few things to think about:

1. Figure out where you want to go first.

The replacement model needs to already be completely understood and approved before you move forward. This will enable you to stay true to the course.

2. Divide the new plan into elements and match them up with elements in the existing plan.

If its Security Measures for your kids environment, then match up the new Check In Procedures with the old, the new pick up plan with the old, and so on and so forth.

3. Come up with a deadline, AND leading up to that date create a time line for each replacement part.

Without this step you will eventually get off track and time will get the best of you. Each replacement part needs to be scheduled and celebrated to maintain momentum from behind the scenes.

Change is such a God-thing and Change can be so powerful. Bottom line: Choose your approach wisely and then go for it with all you’ve got whether it be a “pull the plug” approach or via Systematic Deconstruction. Just remember, ANYTHING is better than doing nothing . . . ANYTHING.

About Adam Bayne

I'm the Children's Pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN, a heavyweight Disney nerd, a lightweight sports fan, and an all-out fan of my wife and two daughters.
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