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Recreating vs. Refining

Submitted by James Higginbotham on November 23, 2009 – 4:42 amNo Comment

I’ve recently been witness to an amazing phenomena within the church – recreating things that have already been created multiple times before. Things like leadership training plans, discipleship growth plans, and volunteer training plans are being created over and over again, causing frustration and confusion.

Instead of recreating the same thing every 6 months due to staff turnover or new hires, why not continue to refine what you have? Here are some further thoughts on refining your processes:

  1. Refining your processes allows for learning from your mistakes. The more times you recreate a process, the more likely you are to repeat the same mistakes again. This is quite common when processes are recreated after a new staff member is added or the staff is reorganized. The same mistakes are made and the same volunteers complain about the same problems that never get fixed.
  2. Refining your processes provides stability for your volunteers. Rather than learning the process flavor of the month, they can focus on getting better at the processes in place. If a change is required, it can be rolled out as minor changes that ease the transition and allow everyone to catch up, get used to it, then adjust again as needed. Just be careful about changing too much at once, as this produces the same problems as recreating your process
  3. Refining your processes makes it easier to recruit new volunteers. Potential volunteers have a great sense for stability – constantly changing processes create problems for your existing volunteers, which makes recruiting new volunteers more difficult.

The next time you need to develop a new leadership plan, discipleship plan, or some other kind of plan, consider refining what you already have rather than starting with a brand new process.

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