categories: church, culture, development
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May 4th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

8 comments (+ Add)

Hold Off On Organizing

When any ministry is starting or suddenly experiences growth, most people want to organize it and immediately put systems in place. While over time you’ll be wise to do both; in the beginning, I prefer to enjoy the chaos.

As a leader, you can maximize the chaos and use it to your advantage. Since it is more than you planned for, it’s not a bad idea to tell people with excitement, “Wow! God grossly exceeded our expectations!”

Instead of apologizing that the parking is tight, the classes are full, or that people are standing in the aisles, it’s great to enthusiastically say, “Thank God for what he is doing!”

Instead of trying to figure out how to handle the growth, work with it. For example, on our newest campus, we opened the doors with two services. One the first week, we made an audible to add two more, totaling four.

Do you think it was chaotic going from two to four services in one week? Absolutely. It was wonderfully chaotic. Everything wasn’t perfect. But no one was expecting perfection.

Somehow it simply felt like a “blessed mess.”

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  1. May 4, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Our church was experiencing the same thing… I am glad we got through that. We are now online based so it makes it easier.

    http://impactministries.com/

    “Get Interactive with God with our Live Online Sermons”

  2. May 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Seems counter intuitive with what we learn today to allow the chaos but we are saying the very things that you mention. We are asking members to sit in the overflow room because God is blessing and asking them to park in the overflow lot before the other lot fills. We are now beginning to make plans on how to deal with it all but there will be no quick fixes.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. May 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Almost sounds to me like what we used to call “flying by the seat of your pants” only with a purpose. I like “unplanned spontaneity.” :) Maybe you will be covering this in future posts Craig but when does the organizing take place? How do you know when to do that? And maybe more importantly: how do you organize yourself so you aren’t choking yourself (and the Spirit) to death?

  4. May 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Another awesome post and thanks for the update. If I could give from what I’ve learned from growth at a campus level, the planning happens the next Monday!
    At least we try for that, we look at parking, seating, service times, how they run over, kids in their classes how long it takes to get people in and out and get everyone the message and experience effectively with the amount of people God has trusted us with.
    Adding the services is the perfect step, once that has been maximized the next step IS another campus right? once you have exceeded the amount of services in ONE location…you just need another location to keep reaching more people.
    THIS is awesome news for God’s kingdom.
    M_

  5. May 4, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Bill, I think that there is a season when flying by the seat of our pants is actually healthy (it is exciting, it takes us to heights we have never been). There comes a point where we must be aware of the needs of our leaders and begin to organize in order sustain the growth. The big indicator I watch for in my people is, tired and lacking enthusiasm. It’s fine to be tired in ministry but when they lack the enthusiasm or drive I take notice. Be aware of our leaders emotional state.

  6. 7Rob Wood
    May 4, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Isaiah 41:10–”Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!” We have to trust God will reveal his plan in HIS time, not ours. I think of Elijah and how “today” was revealed, not tomorrow. After Elijah told king Ahab that neither dew nor rain will be in these years except by my word, God told Elijah to “go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.” Without fail, Elijah went knowing God would provide as he said while in hiding. We have to stand in the gaps with the unquenchable faith that God will provide in the “mess.” In Battle, we do our best to be organized, but once the war starts, anything can happen. The key is to remain faithful and stand in the gaps no matter what!! I love the unpredictability of God. It shows us that we are not in control!

  7. 8Wade Smith
    May 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    As a pastor at the campus that Pastor Craig is referring to, I can testify that God is definitely exceeding all of our expectations. It’s amazing how He uses the chaos to raise the excitement among the people! I agree that although systems and planning are very important, I’m not sure we would have the level of excitement among our people if there wasn’t a little Chaos. That’s what makes it fun!