Ministries, Christian businesses, and Non-Profit organizations can function in many ways. I have come up with three terms I use to describe where an organization is in its evolution. I have a graph I use to help make sense of these three seasons. It sets them up in three columns: Chaotic, Chaordic, and Order with Innovation (If you look at this document you will notice that it is focused on a local church concept because we used this sheet and the concepts in it to help us in our move from being a column two church to a column three church). This blog is a brief discussion of a more complex topic. You can lean more by looking at the graph. It is available under free resources at kevingharney.com.
Here are the three concepts:
Chaotic– When a Christian organization or church starts, there is a high level of chaos. This is part of the deal. Anything goes. There is often last minute planning. It is opportunistic to the core… you tend to grab what comes along. You make it happen as you go, fly by the seat of your pants, and have fun doing it!
Leaders in this season tend to love change. Enjoy surprises. Thrive on the energy of the last minute push. And they love to create on the spot and “wing it.”
One of the challenges in this season is that there is a high burn out rate and turnover of staff and volunteers due to the intensity of the season.
Chaordic– When a church or Christian organization is in this season, there is continued creativity and opportunistic approach. At the same time leaders are seeing that this approach is not a sustainable model. Leaders begin learning to plan, organize, and prepare…but it is hard. There is desire to hold to the free flowing way things have been done, but some structure and order is essential.
This is a time of transition. Entrepreneurial leaders can struggle in this transition time. There is creativity but leaders understand that structure will further the mission. Some leaders can stay with an organization during this shift but some can’t handle the growing structure and needed procedures. Others find themselves fighting the structure and even trying to dismantle it.
Order with Innovation–
This is a time of great creativity, but it is done in teams, with input, over time and not in a frenzied crunch. Planning, forecasting, team building, and structure begin to grow and they are blessed and encouraged by leaders in the organization.
In this time leaders are creative and innovative, but also value direction, planning, communication, and collaboration. Leaders who thrive in this time are team builders, they understand the need for procedures and policies, and consistent creativity within a vision driven system. It is rare to have an entrepreneurial starter lead well through column one, two, and into three. This is where some churches and organizations get stuck because the founding leader fights the very structures and processes that are needed to move forward.
I believe that an organization that has healthy order with consistent creative innovation can make huge kingdom strides forward. Look over the diagram on my website and reflect on this. Where is your church or organization in this process?