Kingdom Compass Sample Chapter

The Kingdom Compass

How to Use This Book

A 12-Week Guide for Christian Ministry

The purpose of this guide is to provide ministry leaders, laity, and small groups with practical tools that are biblically based for ministry assessment, development, and effectiveness.  I have structured this guide to be simple, informative, and practical.  You will find each week with a lesson topic, scriptural reference, subject discussion, practical application, and prayer.

This guide has been broken into three parts:

•    Establish Your Coordinates: Weeks 1 – 4
•    Chart the Course: Weeks 5 – 8
•    Take Off: Weeks 9 – 12

“Establish Your Coordinates” is discovery.  What tools do you currently have and what do you need?  This section sets the stage for prioritized personal/collective ministry as a whole while celebrating each individual as a part.

“Chart the Course” is preparation.  You will begin to clearly see your target and identify what steps are necessary and what can be distractions.  Charting or planning is key – covered in wisdom, achievable goals are determined and positioned for engaged implementation.

“Take Off” is implementation.  This bridges the discovery and preparation stages toward results.  We will examine how equally important what you do is to how you will do it.  These tools will also impact when or if you reach your desired goal.

You should use this guide in a group setting to promote discussion and ministry observation opportunities.  A small group of 5-10 participants is ideal.  When using this tool in larger group settings break into small groups for ample sharing and interaction.

With each lesson you should allocate approximately 60-90 minutes per session per week.  Lesson times may vary based on group work and brainstorming required.  I advise following the weekly guidelines providing the opportunity for reflection and application.  Participation should include pastors, ministry leaders, and all those responsible for serving in some ministry capacity.

This guide is set up to provide easy facilitation. Anyone can serve as the facilitator or you may rotate this role.
As mentioned earlier, sessions are designed to meet approximately 60-90 minutes.  But sessions could need more time due to subject matter or the group’s desire to expand the discussion.

Group dialogue and sharing is very important.  Please facilitate with wisdom and respect while encouraging brief responses where appropriate.

I suggest watching your time and promoting other sessions to address additional discussion about your group’s needs or desired outcome.  Also note this material often references the role of the leader, but each participant should always recognize their leadership potential and the abilities of others as they work together.

These opportunities should be approached as weekly homework, to be completed before the next scheduled session.  Incorporate a check-in of the previous lesson at the start of each week for accountability and clarity.

As you read and process this material, I would like for you to think about it in one of two ways:

1.    How can this be applied to my personal life and service work?

2.    What other groups could use this to mobilize people for Kingdom expansion?

Sample Chapter

Week 6 – More Rations for the Crew

Scriptural Reference
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
I Corinthians 1:27

The achievement of the crew or group is based on a number of factors.  Thanks to God - it is not completely dependent upon us.  But leadership does play a vital role in its success.  In Week 12 of this book we will discuss in more detail the characteristics of a Captain or Transformational leader, but this segment will concentrate more on the group and its need to be fortified.

Ten Characteristics of Strong Successful Teams

1.    Establish a standard of excellence.  Everyone’s approach/style will not be the same, but there should be a process or procedure established.  This reduces guesswork for seasoned leaders and imminent failure for those inexperienced.  Everyone should do their best and know the standard for managing the human and financial resources with which they have been entrusted. 

2.    Recognize the different roles of leader and group member.  Identify the interdependence and weight on each, while respecting and embracing those responsibilities.  The leader is ultimately responsible for the group outcome, but typically is unable to accomplish that goal without the participation of the group.

3.    Identify the gifts needed for group success.  Allow group members to serve as resources in their areas of strength.  (See gift assessment results.)

4.    “Walk the talk” as a leader. 
•    If you desire to see forgiveness and patience, you should discourage bitterness and division.
•    If you recommend lifelong learning, you should also attend seminars, etc.
•    If you preach teamwork, you should work well with others.
If you are a leader who fails to practice what you preach, you lack credibility and others won’t follow your advice.

5.    Have fun.  Incorporate humor and trust building exercises into your setting and meetings.  Laughter or funny stories help add balance to all the work that’s being done.  Incorporate 10-15 minutes into some of your meetings to get to know one another better.  Offsite retreats are excellent examples as well.

6.    Create environments for praise and recognition.
What motivates people?
A.    Internal Satisfaction
B.    Money
C.    Incentives (non-monetary)
D.    Recognition

All of the above, except “B,” can be a cost effective and mutually satisfying way to appreciate those well deserving support people.  John Maxwell says, “What gets rewarded gets done."  We often frown on recognizing people in ministry.  Yes, God should be glorified for acting, but the person was used as the willing vessel.
7.    Identify and address areas of weakness.  This starts with you admitting your mistakes.  While correcting others, be sure to show you care.  Prayerfully pick the right opportunity to discuss, have specifics to address (not hearsay), engage them and solicit their suggestions for a plan of action.  And limit telling others about their problems.

8.    Rotate meeting facilitation and project leadership.  A team’s success should NEVER solely depend on one individual.  This includes the leader.  Rotation of project leadership also exercises those “leader legs.”  (See Week 10 – Healthy Delegation.)

9.    Embrace problem-solving opportunities.  Conflict management is vital to team success.  Review the following strategies as compared to various animals:

•    Turtle = Avoidance – often avoids dealing with problems or hides from conflict & responsibilities
Koala = Accommodate – is known for pacifying individuals to keep peace and reduce conflict
•    Rhino = Compete – can be extremely confrontational and argumentative in nature
•    Fox = Compromise – typically unable to make a decision in fear of offending either party
•    Dolphin = Collaborate – confidently makes well informed decisions while inviting team feedback and critique

The dolphin’s approach is assertive but flexible; it can turn conflict into a positive problem-solving process.  This result, “you win: I win,” leads to clarification of issues and maintains relationships with maturity.
10.    Create an environment for personal growth.  For example, encourage seminar participation, distribute educational tapes, identify and recommend Christian & community based information.

Strong Teams Are as Basic as ABC

Ability = II Corinthians 12: 9-10  
Know what you know – God has given each one of us a different set of gifts and abilities.  Be confident in those abilities, knowing He will allow you to use them for His purposes and glory.

Breaks = James 1:5  
Know when to stop, correct, or suspend – This knowledge is very important.  You need the wisdom of God for a range of decisions and choices.  Recognizing the importance of these choices will impact the morale of the crew and the course advancement.

Courage = Book of Daniel 
Know you will have success – Believing you will succeed creates an environment of boldness and strength.  Despite the treacherous path you may face, if your crew has courage you can tackle anything.

Finally, one important factor for sustaining the crew is proper nourishment.  I believe the crew must have a healthy diet and balance of meat, vegetables, liquids, and a few treats for encouragement. 
This spiritual diet includes biblical knowledge, pruning, revelation, and generous blessings.  Determine and discern what the crew needs and remember everyone should be properly fed and physically fit in order to carry their weight the entire journey.

All participate:  Survey - please circle answers.

1.    Have you openly shared your faults with those on your crew?  Yes/No

2.    Have you recently recognized someone openly for his or her contributions?  Yes/No

3.    Are others allowed to co-facilitate or lead the meetings you run?  Yes/No

4.    Are problems regularly discussed openly with the group?  Yes/No

5.    Identify which conflict resolution strategy you most commonly use.  Be honest.
Turtle / Koala / Rhino / Fox / Dolphin

6.    Discuss what steps must be taken to change, if necessary.

Call someone in your ministry group to discuss and praise his or her contributions.  Cite noteworthy examples of ways they’ve helped and supported your ministry goals.

All: Heavenly Father, I recognize that building a stronger group requires my acknowledgment that I am weak.  Help me to depend on you and the wisdom you have provided for my development even as I am held as steward for the development and leadership of your people.  I trust and submit my ways to yours, in Jesus' name, Amen.

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