Monday, October 18, 2010

managing tensions

Our executive pastor Mark Warren shared with me a couple of weeks ago a leadership principle he had heard from a recent seminar he went to. It really resonates for my leadership in a church setting. Here's the reality, some issues that come up in church leadership are not meant to be resolved - the best you can do with some things is just embrace the tensions that exist and try to manage them by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

Never was this reality more apparent than when we got the results of our recent church survey. First let me say that I'm blessed and proud that so many of you took the time to respond. According to the people doing the survey; our church participated more than any mega-church they had ever worked with - over 1,000 responses! Really awesome. Now remember there were about 15-20 literally thousands of responses to all the questions.

I can tell you that overall - the people of Eastview love Eastview. Of course, there was that question "what could Eastview improve on?" Well, I read all 700+ responses (some didn't respond) and here's where managing tensions come in! Let me reiterate - the responses were super positive. But some of the responses were exact opposite - the music is the best in the whole world vs. the music should ___________ OR Mike is the best preacher vs. Mike should preach deeper like ___________. So what to do? How can we have the perfect music, decibel level, sermon, youth program, etc.... In a word, how can we make EVERYONE happy?

The answer is don't try to figure this out...just take the input from all sides..get up everyday and ask God to use you and use the gifts He has given to do it. Respond to all input with love and grace and TRUTH and just kinda manage the fact that some will like it and some won't. Don't try to fix it all, just manage these tensions that have more to do with people being different than really being a problem at all.

Now to be sure, there are some things that you need to resolve. There are some things we can fix like OUR WEB SITE (or the glare on Mike's head on the big screen - true response!) - which we are in a major way. But for some of it...we just manage it in the grace of our Lord. What in your life is a tension that just needs to be managed?


Anonymous said...

Interesting responses. I am reminded of a sermon I heard in which the question was posed to us ... "when did church become about what we get out of it as opposed to what did we give?" There are flaws in every church but we need to continue on focusing on God. Eastview focuses on the right things. Darwyn

Anonymous said...

A wise man once said, "You will please some people all of the time, and you may even please all people some of the time, but you will never please all people all of the time."

As Paul wrote, " I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." [Galatians 1:10]

Anonymous said...

i PROMISE the glare on the forehead comment was not from me!!! never noticed the glare on your forehead....too distracted by your baggy pants. :-)

Lisa said...

Great information...and I love the Galations reference.

I'm sure the church does not lack for suggestions from its members, but one idea I have had over the past several years (in reference to the website) is why not see if there is talent within the church body that could work on changes on a volunteer basis? I know there are a lot of people at Eastview that work in IT and do web design for a living and I'm sure several would love to help give in this included!

You guys do an awesome job Mike...and the church does focus on the RIGHT things..that's why we love it so much!

Tim said...

when truth stops coming out of your mouth you'll hear from me. personal preferences are just that - preferences.
(Jennifer, not Tim)