A Note from Chris Adams: Recently at a couple of our YOU Lead training events, we’ve discussed a more fluid type of leadership team and many asked how that works. Simone Monroe, director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, shares how she has developed a less structured team regarding written descriptions. This won’t work in all churches, but it’s certainly a new twist to engaging women, especially younger ones, in serving in ministry.
In 44 years of ministry, I always used a structured team culture. Seven years ago, I began to move from a structured culture to a more flexible culture with our team, knowing that would appeal more to young leaders.
God moved in ways that forced us into this more fluid culture much more closely than we planned. But, as usual, God knows more than we know and His ways are so much better and bigger than ours.
Due to these changes, we stopped creating written job descriptions for team members. We also minimized titles and specific times of service on the team. When I mention this to outsiders, questions always arise.
Briefly, here are the questions I’m most often asked and how I answer them.
1. How does anyone know what they are supposed to do?
Each person knows what they are responsible for achieving in their position (their duties), but how they achieve that is left to them within the spoken parameters and deadlines defined as they are enlisted.
2. How do they know who they are responsible to report to?
To whom they are to report is established at enlistment. Again, how they accomplish their roles is left to the individuals directly involved in the process.
3. How do you keep control of what they are doing?
Control is no longer an issue because the how is left to the creativity of the individuals directly performing or accomplishing the ministry or task. Results are evaluated by those to whom they report and the women’s ministry leader. If needed, conversations can and do take place to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
4. How long do they serve and how does that work?
The length of service depends on the ministry or service for which they are enlisted and their own personal circumstances. Service may be for years or only a few months.
As I reflected on these changes and how much more effective our team (one unit with common vision and focus) had become with responsibilities and communication, I realized this increased communication and teamwork was directly due to the fluidity of the job description situation. Because women are only given what is expected for them to accomplish, their sense of responsibility has grown immensely. They have become much more creative and efficient because the how is left to them. They are ultimately responsible for their area of ministry. No one is looking over their shoulders telling them how and when to do it. Therefore, they communicate all the more, asking questions of those they are responsible to and communicating more clearly about the details because they want to do their jobs well. What a wonderful, unexpected outcome from some unintended changes!
Simone Monroe is the director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, a global strategist for ProvenWay Ministries, and a LifeWay ministry multiplier. As a speaker, conference leader, and freelance writer, she is also a member of the Association of Women’s Ministry Professionals. Simone has earned a Masters degree in Christian Leadership and a Certificate in Women’s Leadership from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, Texas. Simone’s passion is teaching and developing women to fulfill their God-given potential.