Wise, seasoned and humble, are three words I would use to describe Pastor Andy Maldonado. He’s been a fantastic friend, mentor and model. I’m excited that he’s agreed to guest post for us. So for take your time through this blog. Try and implement at least one of his suggestions. Pastor Andy, take it away.
I happen to be a great admirer of flowers. I love all types of flowers. Roses, Tulips, Pansies. I can go to a botanical garden and spend the day just gazing at flowers. Yet I have a terrible time growing them. My wife on the other hand has a natural “green thumb”.
Evelyn can make anything grow in dirt. I watched her method recently and I noticed that she has a process for the plant to grow. I saw her do such things as add nutrients as well as fertilizer to the dirt. That was to ensure strong healthy plants. Next when the flowered plant was growing she would cut off leaves and pedals that had died. Sometimes she would replant the flower into a bigger pot so as to allow the roots room to grow. Lastly she would water the plants, not in the hot part of the day but when the sun was not at it’s strongest i.e. morning or late afternoon.
I thought about her strategies and processes for the plants and wondered what strategies were vital to make an organization or ministry grow. I came up with Five essential strategies that would ensure a healthy and growing organization:
5 STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH
- Look to the horizon
Before going to the garden store to buy flowers my wife already has a mental picture of what our window box should look like. She ‘s already envisioned the finished product. As leaders we should always be concered with what our organization will look and feel like 5 years down the road. Will we outgrow our facility? Will we be outpaced by technology? If the community changes will we still be relevant? They are the issues that leaders face. After all, leaders are always studying change, unlike a manager who is only concerned with managing the current reality. Have you thought about the next 5 years?
- Gather the best mix of people on your team
When Evelyn buys the flowers she always make sure that she group’s them by how well they will grow together. She won’t plant flowers that will spread out into other flowers thereby crowding or even choking other flowers. It’s the same with choosing people for our teams. We want people that are not just talented but people who can work together for the same goal. A suggestion might be to have them take a personality assessment that shows them not only their personality type but they can discover how each would interact while on the same team.
- Grow your team
Just as plants need nutrients and minerals to grow, the same is true of our teams. People need to develop as people as well as workers. Give your teams opportunities to read good books, take them to workshops (some can be done online) encourage them to take courses maybe even take them together.
- Grow yourself
Stay ahead of your team’s learning curve. A leader is a learner. Don’t only learn about your particular giftings and passions but learn about the areas of weaknesses in your makeup. Remember God gives us strengths in order to accomplish His mission but He allows weaknesses in us to show our need of others. Be open to transforming into the well rounded person God wants you to be.
- Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate
Each week she goes to the plants just to check and see how they are progressing. She will test the soil, tear off a dead leaf or completely break off a stem that was not growing right. We must evaluate often. Sometimes success can be a great deceiver. Its when things seem to be going great that we must “forecast” the next turn. Organizations that don’t evaluate wait until there is a plateau to start asking the questions about effectiveness. If you wait till you plateau you may have waited too long. It’s in the middle of success and energy that you ask questions about realignment and adjustments, so that the next victory is at a higher level than the last.
Well, I hope this time in the “garden” has been helpful. Check in with us often for more themes “to go from surviving to thriving”
Pastor Andy Maldonado
Pastor Andy, thank you so much for sharing some of your insights on growth. By the way, Pastor Andy will be hosting a webinar with me on Monday, June 2nd @ 1pm & 7pm “7 Strategies for Leading & Developing Ministry Teams that Rock.”
I highly recommend this webinar for all Pastors and ministry leaders.