The “Community of Specialists”
“Unity” isn’t the only concept behind effective ministry and marketing.
There’s also the flip side: specialties.
Each member of the body has a specialty. We are a community, yes, but a community of specialists.
- You’re an eye? You don’t walk anywhere.
- You’re a foot? You can’t see a thing.
- Everyone is united, but each devotes himself to his own calling — for maximum efficiency and ministry productivity.
This seems like a simple idea, but it can be tricky to live out in a ministry organization.
High-level executives, for example, can get bogged down in the minutiae of semi-colons and italics, or devote themselves to that single complaint in a stack of ten thousand donor gifts. To laser-personalize, or not to laser-personalize? Two emails on a topic or one? That is not supposed to be the executive’s question.
This is most counter-productive at the top level. Ministry leaders need to focus heavily on donor relationships — that is, developing relationships with their donors.
- One other by-product of God’s excellent “community-of-specialists” design is that each participant in the process is trusted to do his or her work — with minimal intervention or second-guessing by those with other specialties.
(The ministry leader’s brother-in-law, for example, may not have God-given insights into effective ministry marketing but may have outsized influence because of the family connection.)
When one member of the body tries to do another’s job, disaster’s ahead. (Try pedaling your bike with your ears!)
When a ministry worker at any level gets into an operation where he or she has no business, feelings can easily get hurt — and the ministry itself gets hurt.
This is more than just a busted business principle. It is a matter of contradicting God’s design.
When one member of the human body hurts another member of the same body, we call it masochism.
At the very least, schizophrenia and masochism in a ministry organization — failure to work by the community-of-specialists model — dooms that organization to inefficiency.
- Employees duplicate each other’s efforts.
- Some do what could be done — should be done — faster or better by others.
- Overworked workers don’t get the essentials accomplished, or they miss deadlines.
- Costs go up.
- Net return goes down.
- And the pressure inevitably goes up on your marketing effort.
But you may be able to do ministry, and marketing, differently.
Trust your God-given community of specialists, and see what happens!