“None of us is as important as all of us.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.

The industrial age was the beginning of bureaucratic organization. The term “organizational chart” was first used in the early twentieth century. George Holt Henshaw drew the first chart created by the Scottish-American engineer Daniel McCallum (1815-1878). Organizations are not operating the way we have laid it out in a traditional organizational chart. Technological advancement overthrew the factory and productivity system. The organizational chart is static and not agile. Automation, A.I., and collaboration tools have replaced time and motion studies.

Church administrators have historically organized a church in a hierarchy. Church leaders are at the top, and everyone else is placed lower down the food chain. This hierarchy of accountability is becoming increasingly outdated. Management is now getting decentralized as we work in teams. Each team member is an expert in their area. The Jigsaw model is disrupting the traditional top-down management system that we follow in most churches.

Collaboration tools create improved real-time communication and feedback that is eliminating bureaucracy and red tape. Effective teams do not need to go through multiple levels to get the idea to the key person making the decision. Five generations of people working in our workplace are making team members communicate on a peer-based level. Multi-generational teams will push us to embrace a different team structure.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NLT), Apostle Paul uses the body as a metaphor:

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”

One way you can structure your administrative team effectively is to pivot away from one person having a single function as their sole responsibility, with limited knowledge of anyone else’s role on the team. It is necessary to train other team members to jump in as needed as their secondary responsibility for any team member. Succession planning for each critical role eases the transition and avoids gaps in workflows when team members are on vacation, on sick leave, resign or retire.

With the rapid technology change, the skillset in the church will confront critical projects that require accelerated learning. We will find ourselves working in interconnected teams. Organizational charts separate different employees and do not show us how teams are working on various projects. Organizational charts are ineffective when they tend to lose sight of the overarching goal of marketing penetration.

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