Act like an entrepreneur.
Since we launched The Ministry Mechanics, our team has been creating, building, dreaming, scheming and living the lives of people who are trying to create something from nothing! These ideas about how to strengthen churches and equip leaders have been in our heads or manifesting themselves in random ways over the years. But now things are different. Now it's real. Now it's about organizing thoughts and clarifying purpose and developing strategies and formulating a plan.
Throughout the process, we've been reminded that startups are so different from established organizations. The life of a church planter is vastly different from that of a leader of an existing church. Any momentum that shows up in the early stages of launching something new is because a team is so committed to creating movement of any kind.
When you're launching a new work, you'll come up with out of the box innovations and incredibly bright ideas out of pure necessity. You'll take risks to build an audience. You'll get creative to find cost-effective methods of sharing your message with the world. You'll celebrate anyone who is willing to come along side you to help bring your vision to reality. You'll actually rejoice when someone sends you an email wanting more information or likes your social media pages. This leads to rapid growth, strong word of mouth marketing and real movement toward your organizational goals.
On the flip side, leaders at established organizations tend to play it safe to avoid controversy. You'll dismiss innovations and creativity to stick with what brought you this far. You'll focus energy on your current customers/members. You'll overlook capable leaders with loads of potential within your organization, or worse, stick with leaders who haven't had a brilliant or creative thought in years. You'll bemoan emails from customers/members and loathe responding to the hundreds of social media interactions. This leads to slowed growth, mediocre word of mouth and stagnation toward organizational goals.
You can easily apply this information to churches and pastors. How can we avoid stagnation and slowed growth? How can we keep the spirit of an entrepreneur while building the infrastructure to support a larger more established organization? Here are 3 tips to living like an entrepreneur:
1. Get Fired Up
This sounds so simple, but growth and vision starts with your passion for your product, organization and calling! If you're not excited, no one else will be. Passion is contagious. Energy is infectious. You must be passionate about what you do. If you aren't, maybe it's time to examine what you're doing. Maybe it's time to get out of your current situation and lean into your passion. Work is always going to be challenging and difficult, but it can't be deflating and without merit. Finding the "why" in your "what" will go a long way to sustaining your success and energy in your current calling. Don't let anyone else have more vision for your community than you do. Be the motivator, encourager and leader that has passion and purpose in their work.
2. Prepare For The Future
Every good leader needs to leave some space in the work week for dreaming and visioneering. When was the last time you thought about your future, about what's next for your organization? Each week, devote some meaningful time to exploring your community. Find the needs and create ways to meet them through your service. If you're only putting out fires and dealing with the present, you'll never move beyond the now. Good leaders are always looking to the future and finding new ways to grow their churches, engage customers or help change the world.
3. Give It Away
One of the best ways to get some time to think about what's next is to give away responsibility. Empowering capable leaders within your organization is a critical step toward growing your organization. Get out of your office and invest in the talent around you! Ask people about their passions and what they love about their jobs. Empower them to become leaders with real responsibility and decision-making power. Craig Groeschel reminds us that if we can find anyone in our organization that can accomplish our job, or parts of it, at 70% of our efficiency, it's time to give it away. Divide the workload, delegate responsibility and define the win. Spend time assessing challenges and celebrating the wins.
Maybe it's been a while since you worked like an entrepreneur. This week, find a simple way to switch from thinking like an employee and try to work like an entrepreneur. Inspire some change and momentum in your organization. Breathe life into your processes and passions. Better still, you'll see more people cross the line of faith and get deep into it. Remember the reason you started your church, business or organization in the first place and lean in.