Every organization has problems that shouldn’t be solved
and tensions that shouldn’t be resolved.
For example, you manage the tension between work and home. You don’t settle it. You don’t fix it. You manage it.
Business and Industry Specific Examples should be parsed and put into terms that apply to us in the Church.
Marketing and Sales. Systems and Flexibility. Management and Leadership. Allowing the Preacher to be Led to Preach as Long as the Holy Spirit Says and Getting Out On Time So the Volunteers Don’t Quit. Leading and Shepherding. And the list goes on.
Deal with these as opportunities to generate progress.
RESOLVING UNRESOLVABLE TENSION
For example, choose EXCELLENCE over FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Or vice versa.
Or ALL THEOLOGY and NO APPLICATION. You’re cutting off your thumb to solve the tension, and you create new problems.
How do we keep it safe for unbelievers and how do we mature the current Christians?
RESOLVING UNRESOLVABLE TENSION CREATES BARRIERS TO PROGRESS
How do I KNOW WHEN it’s a TENSION?
- Does this problem keep coming up?
- Are there mature advocates on both sides?
- Are the two sides really interdependent?
THINGS THAT HELP US UNDERSTAND REALITIES
The role of leadership is to leverage tensions to the benefit of the organization.
- Identify the tensions.
- Create terminology to describe the realities. “I guess that’s a tension that we have to manage.”
- Inform your core leaders about which tensions are going to be around, perhaps forever.
- Understand the upside of the opposite side. Understand the downside of your side.
- Don’t weigh in too heavily with your personal biases.
- Passionate people are vital to understanding the full depth of their side, but mature people are also vital to balance that out.
- Think in terms of rhythm, not fairness.
As a leader, one of the most valuable things you can do for your organization is to differentiate between the tensions you must manage versus the problems you need to solve.
If you leverage them properly, these tensions will propel the organizations to the next level.
Author: Joey Reed
Joey is married to his best friend. Together, they have two children and live in Jackson, Tennessee. Joey serves Grace United Methodist Church, the Jackson District, the Memphis Annual Conference, and the world is his parish.