Not long ago we released a podcast talking about Defining Your Win and I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the topic & give an update on what we’ve done since.
It all started when our creative programing team for our adult weekend services began reading Andy Stanley’s book, Deep & Wide. We’ve done some studies before together, but this one was great at starting conversations among the team about why we do what we do. We all individually thought we knew why, but it was amazing to hear the differences when we put the topics out on the table. We would read a chapter a week and discuss the resolutions that Northpoint had adopted, but then we would go the next step and ask if the same was true of us, of our city, of our congregation & staff. These were great discussions where we learned a lot about each other and what we valued. More than anything, and probably the most valuable through the entire process, it built a stronger trust within our team. We knew each other’s hearts for why we were in ministry and serving at this place. When we had reached the end of the book, we had come so far from where we began… we were unified, we were in sync, and we were on the same trajectory. However, if we would have just stopped there, we would have fallen far short of winning.
The next step was much different than the first. We moved from the cozy, incandescently lit room where we lounged in soft chairs & sipped coffee, to the fluorescently bathed meeting space with ever-present whiteboard. Week by week we would bring up individual parts of our service that reoccurred on a weekly basis and asked what we wanted these to be. Not what they are right now, or have been, but what should they be. We would all share as many adjectives and descriptive phrases defining what our Pre-Service Experience should be like, to our Pre-Service Announcments, to our Opener, to our Host, and on and on. When we exhausted our variables, we would then all get a marker & vote on the top three. Hash mark style. Based on this we would take top responses and review what we as a team thought was most important for that moment. It was amazing to see how our team had thirty different things that should happen in a part of the service, but we mostly agreed on the three to four things that needed to happen every time. After this process we had the team’s essentials for our Pre-Service, our Snapshot (pre-service announcements that are not shot on a green screen!), our Host, Opener, Worship Package & Communion.
Still not done yet. We then took those words & phrases and created statements that would make a clear, communicable, bold win for each element. Because it’s one thing for our staff team to know why we do these things, but many times it’s others who have to pull them off. When we have another person come in and host or a volunteer worship leader pick out songs, how can you quickly and clearly communicate the wins to them as well? This was probably the simplest part of the process, because so many conversations had happened already. We were speaking in the same language using the same lexicon. When we were done, we had a list of wins that the entire team agreed on. And it was a good list!
One last thing. We’d done all this work and it would have been a total fail if we didn’t take this final step. We had to use it. We had small cards made up of the wins, laminated them (that shows you mean business) and put them in offices and in the post-service meeting space.
We realized that we not only want these around on a Saturday night to judge wether or not we achieved our goals, but we needed them in our programming meeting in the first place. We have become better at aiming for the win when we know what we’re trying to do. Now, do we realize that this list is not the Bible? yes. Do we know that sometimes we’ll have to break it to achieve a greater purpose? maybe. But those times are going to be few and far between. We know that the concepts that we arrived at will not define an amazing church experience in 10 years as well as they do today, but we now know the path. We will keep tweaking. We will keep going forward, but as a team. Aligned. Unified. One.
That, my friends, is pretty sweet!