Doing More with Less

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know that big changes are afoot in my church, Upper Room. Having been a sub-ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church for 7 years, we're about to launch out on our own. While this is all highly exciting, it's a bit like a teenager graduating high school and going out to live on his own. Instead of living with mom and dad where room and board are provided, he has to provide for himself. His budget will get tighter and he'll probably have to make do with less. This is right where we find ourselves.

This move comes at a time when many other churches are struggling as well. I know of several who have had to lay staff off just to keep the lights on. Those are tough decisions, and we know them well. Our staff has shrunk by almost half since I started a year ago. However, the work still needs to get done, so the remaining staff have all had extra roles added.

As I was working on my Ministry Action Plan, it occurred to me that I probably have the equivalent of about three full-time jobs, at least by overall responsibility. As much as I love what I do, I don't love it enough to work 120 hours a week to get it all done. Somehow, I need to get more done in the same amount of time.

One thing I've noticed about many techies is a tendency to be high-achievers. We just love to get stuff done. This is my bent. Give me a job to do, and I attack it with all I've got. I only tend to ask for help when I can't reach something. However, in my new job paradigm, this won't cut it. I simply can't work hard, fast or long enough to get everything done. That means a new strategy.

I've decided I need to really start developing volunteer leaders to start taking over portions of my job. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you this is not driven from laziness, but from the knowledge that I can't get it all done. As a bonus, it allows people in our community to have a tremendous impact in our church, and empowers them to advance the Kingdom.

Tomorrow, I'll talk more about how I plan to implement this grand strategy.