Sunday, 15 April 2012

Ten Golden Rules For Administration

The Multiply International Leaders Conference is coming up in June.  I've been drafted in to share a workshop on apostolic administration.

Great!  Well, we'll make the best job of it we can, and not betray our
disinclination (or dislocation).  Here's ten golden rules I jotted down in a "slow movement" passage in a recent committee meeting.

1. Avoid the mirror land.  This refers to James 1:23-25.  In other words, the best of visions and words is useless without application.
2. Administration is variously a gift (1 Corinthians 12: 28) and requires faith (Hebrew 11:33).  I love the idea that godly leaders should "administer justice".  It sits well with Christian community.
3. Good administrators are lazy people.  They anticipate they may need to do a job again, and instinctively set about simplifying and routinising it, so it will be less effort next time.  Disorganised people just aren't lazy enough; they leave themselves trouble ahead.
4. Money is old creation and needs ruling with a rod of iron.  Our Jesus Centre admin office wall bears a motto:  “Trust is Good; But Inspection is Better”.  It refers to our financial procedures (though some folks take it personally).
5. Every decision costs money.  This is a good rule for setting limits on the amount of information you seek to support a decision (e.g. computer data), and the time you take - value your time at £25 per hour and you'll soon become "more decisive".  To do nothing is a decision, and has an outcome.  And every element of control costs money, too. 
6.  Here's a favourite: "The strong man brings issues forward and make decisions among them.  The weak are left to chose from options they would not (themselves) have selected."
7.  "Church members aren't against change; it's just that most change is badly managed".  A quote from George Barna, I believe.
8.  "It's better to put ten men to work that to do the work of ten men." DL Moody.  The thorny issue of delegation - it's hard work.  And it's not "dumping" tasks or responsibility.
9.  Avoid sub-section optimalisation.  Every engineer know that an optimal system requires compromise in its component elements; some form of pay-off.
10.  All achievements (and edifices) require maintenance.  I love to bring things about then feel I can walk away and it will stand forever.  Not so.  So, I'm resigned to at least some effort here.  Many of us prefer to rush on to set up the next challenge.  Jesus called men who were mending their fishing nets.  Maybe if we make a decent job of keeping things running well, He'll call by and invite us to join Him in His eternal Kingdom adventure. It'll be worth it.

I guess the finished version of our workshop content in June will bring a bit of polishing up.

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