When people don’t stay in their lane, crashes happen and sometimes those crashes stop all movement forward.
One of my coaches taught me that Clear Roles make all the difference in healthy organizations. As I work with congregations, I see this is true.
- Church Treasurers who believe it’s their role to determine if the pastor deserves to be paid that week.
- Clerks of Session (in Presbyterian lingo this is the keeper of board meeting minutes, etc.) who believe they have the authority to veto the Pastor or make plans without the Pastor.
- Pastors who believe it’s their role to decree what the congregation believes.
- Parishioners who believe it’s their role to keep Pastors in their places.
I appreciate my colleagues in that we are constantly checking in with each other about boundaries. Am I in your lane? Is this something I should be doing or is that on your plate? Is this project something you have time to do, or would you like us to hold off until summer? Do we need to change your position description to add that responsibility?
The worst is when the Christian Education Committee is doing the work of the Mission Committee who is stepping on the toes of the Worship Committee who interferes with the Flower Committee who doesn’t care that the Pastor won’t allow flowers on the communion table.
In a healthy church, colleagues can talk with each other about who does what and it’s not about power; it’s about good boundaries and effective ministry in the name of Jesus.
Just a little reminder for a Thursday afternoon.