6 Questions Every Organization Needs to Answer, Part 1
Over the last week our staff and board reviewed our answers to 6 key questions every organization should answer. They are the highest level description of the destination and the guard rails every organization needs to assure long-term effectiveness.
Here are the 6 questions we reviewed and the place SpringHill provides the answers:
- What do we believe to be true? Statement of Faith.
- Why do we exist? Mission
- What’s important to us? Core Values
- What makes us distinct? Philosophy of Ministry
- What do we want to achieve in 15, 20 or 25 years? Big Hairy Audacious God Goal (BHAGG)
- What do we want to become in 5, 10, 15 years? Vision
The answers to the first 4 questions focus on the “now” and need to be a present reality within the organization. Thus they are the guard rails that keep the organization from getting off track.
The last 2 questions are future focused and provide the organization’s long-term destination. These answers need to be guided by and consistent with the answers to the first 4 questions.
All the answers should be treated like the Constitution of the United States – slow and laborious to change. Why? Because any change needs to appropriately involve every stakeholder group of the organization, and this takes time. If the answers keep changing it’s because the questions have never been truly answered.
Not only is it necessary to answer these 6 questions, it’s absolutely essential that the answers drive everything else in the organization. Every decision made within the organization is to be subservient to the answers to these questions. That’s why these answers are so important, and why they should rarely change.
Finally, we believe answering these questions not to be, a an act of calculation, but an act of discovery, a discovery that will pay richly in a long future of effective ministry.
To see SpringHill’s answers to the 6 Key Questions click here.
How does this apply to a Church? Do you think it does? I’m starting to think more deeply about organizational structure within the church (since I work at one now). How do things like Good to Great and Mission/Vision/Core Values apply to the body of Christ – the family of the church? It seems it has to be different in some ways, but they can’t be void, can they? After working at and being trained in management at SpringHill these things are part of my DNA, but in my church they are not received warmly by the majority.
Carly, great questions about the local church. Ones that I have often thought about as well. Here’s where I’m at with it, though I could be convinced differently. The local church has a higher biblical calling/purpose – what makes it the local church. We should never loose sight of this higher/biblcial calling and purpose. Subservient to this calling is where the answers to the 6 questions. If the local church stays only at the highest bibilcal calling then it might miss the unique calling God has for thenm as a local community. This unique calling should reflect the social, economic, historic, and geographic context if finds itself in. Really, it’s not much different than us humans. If the confessions are right and our highest purose as humans is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever then we each should be asking ourselves “how do I do that in the time and place God has placed me?” That’s where the 6 questions enter in and can help bring clarity.
As you wrestle with these topics keep me in the loop on your thoughts Carly.
Thanks. I think I’m going to take these 6 questions to my staff at the church and maybe even the elders. Because I believe they will help us in discovering God’s direction for this church, and help us to target our ministry as we continue to realize we cannot be all things to all people. We are simply one church of many in Burbank, and we have a specific purpose God has given us… It’s time to discover how He has set us apart here in our community so we can be focused on His Will for our portion of the Body of Christ. Please join me in prayer for this process of questioning. And thanks for this continued “training”. 🙂
Hi Carly, I’m going to do a few more posts on the questions, looking at them in groups of two. This may help you and your church in their process in answering them. Keep me posted on how it goes.
Awesome! I’ll stay tuned for these. 🙂