Accountability is about ownership. That's the bottom line.
Do you own the mission and vision of your church or are you a consumer of it?
Here are 5 practical ways to increase your sense of ownership & accountability.
1. Be aware of victim conversations.
Look for people (maybe you) who tend to focus on past failures. Human nature leads us to blame external forces for those failures. You need to be accountable in your conversations - you need to be the one who encourages others to take ownership of actions and results. When you feel a conversation headed down the external blame road, try saying something like “I wonder what lessons we can learn about ourselves from that failure.”
2. Communicate your vision often.
You (and your people) need to be reminded often of the importance of your vision. Keeping the focus on the main thing should be inspiring to you and those you serve with. Here are two great resources to get you started on this:
Making Vision Stick - Andy Stanley
7 Ways to Help Others Understand Vision - Rick Warren
3. Model Ownership
Your actions will speak louder than your words.
By modeling expected behaviors, you make it safe and normal to embrace ownership and accountability. If you are walking the walk, you have eliminated at least one excuse that others may use for not taking ownership.
4. Clarify expectations using vision language.
Healthy accountability often begins with clear expectations. Understanding what is expected is key to both individual and ministry-wide accountability. Don’t invent random expectations that sound nice. Use the language that you already use to communicate your vision to set your expectations.
“We are making changes in our children’s ministry to better minister to the families in our community that we want to reach.”
“We are adding facility space to make room for the 1,000 people that we want to meet Jesus each week.”
"We need our volunteers to wear the same shirt because we want people to feel comfortable in our building.”
5. Focus on the future.
True accountability is not about the consequences of the past. Talking about past failures does little to motivate a sense of ownership and enables people who tend to blame external forces. Talking about the future can motivate ownership. By its nature, the future is unwritten and is optimistic. Cast a future vision that people want an ownership stake in.
In what ways are you encouraging ownership and accountability in your ministry? Let me know!
As a ministry, you are busy and time is limited. One often overlooked benefit of working at a church is that your time is often flexible. At least, more flexible than many other jobs. You aren’t required to punch a timecard or wait for a whistle to blow before going to lunch. Your employer is likely understanding of family situations and realizes that ministry is taxing. Take advantage of your flexible environment. Schedule time to get away from your office and get outside. Here are twelve methods I try to use to get outside. I hope you can use a few of them in your attempt to get out more often.
What ways do you find to get outdoors more often?
Let me know!