To be blunt, one of the elements the UnStuck Group identified as holding us back was our leadership structure. There were elements of our structure that smaller churches use to grow, but were keeping us from responding to the needs of people at the size we find ourselves at. We’ve been addressing these issues with staffing and organizational structure and adding some procedural changes for ministries, like scheduling systems, and a process to evaluate events.
Adding structure can feel “corporate” and “big church,” yet the reality is we are classified as a “very large church.” We need the right amount of structure to support the people who are finding and following Christ at Richwoods, but not so much that we strangle creativity and spontaneity. It’s a tension we are very sensitive to, especially as we continue to learn how to be volunteer led and staff supported.
Recently in a staff meeting we talked about this tension between relational simplicity and structural complexity in the context of the relationship of Barnabas and Paul in the book of Acts. When the church was younger it needed more relational systems, Barnabas was all about connecting with people, it was his gifting. If it wasn’t for Barnabas’ ability to see Paul’s potential and believe the best in him, Paul never would have been given the opportunity to serve in the church.
It’s important to note that the order in which the author of the book of Acts lists names is intentional, and indicates authority. During the first missionary journey it’s Barnabas and Paul, but there is a shift and the order becomes Paul and Barnabas. As their ministry became more complex with church planting and stabilizing existing churches more structure was needed, Paul’s gifting for structure took the lead.
A caution here, as we grow we need to avoid thinking it’s a shift from one to the other, better it’s a balance of the two where needed. This is the tension. We need simplicity to remain relational, and we need structure to remain healthy. Paul and Barnabas made a great team as they continued to follow the calling God placed on their lives and the impact on God’s Kingdom was huge! There will be times when we implement some structure as we follow God’s leading, but hear our heart, our desire is to keep a firm grasp on the beauty of simplicity, spontaneity, and the power of relationships.
If you have concerns about additional structure, I would encourage you to talk with a staff member, as well as myself.
Knoxville Campus Saturday
Knoxville Campus Sunday
We did take an offering this weekend. Our bookkeeper, Sandy, has taken the week off and therefore there is no data available to publish accurately. On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2017 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.