“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2
If you and your team are experiencing a prolonged plateau or lack of momentum, morale and creativity, it could be that you simply need a break. Rather than “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” or “beating a dead horse,” consider these five strategies as a “cure for what ails you…” Rest. Reset. Resource. Recruit. Relaunch.
Rest – This may be a day, a week, a month or a longer sabbatical period. However, you will skip this step only at the sacrifice of the others and, ironically, you will have only exponentially multiplied the need for it. For example, our core leaders and volunteers have the month of July “off.” While we are meeting for worship and and other very basic functions of church life, we are not doing outreach, our 252 Kids Sunday morning ministry, and a variety of other monthly initiatives. What will they be doing? Hopefully a whole lot of nothing.
Slow down, way down. Let your soul catch up with your body. Get away. Get some rest. Laugh a lot and do whatever fuels and fills you and your loved-ones with joy.
Note: Whenever possible, do as much of the following BEFORE you take the time to rest or strategically plan for it post-rest so that you can truly restore your soul, mind and body. And, yes, it is “easier said than done” and may take some time to incorporate into your organizational DNA.
Reset – There are plenty of other words for this. You can retool, rework, or otherwise revise your strategy to fulfill your greater vision in more productive ways. Ask yourselves what has been working and what hasn’t. Who the target group is and who has actually been coming or otherwise buying into what you’ve been selling. Make the tough calls and the tougher changes. CAUTION: Resist the temptation to add anything without subtracting a couple of others. If not, you will be right back to burn-out in n0 time. Simplify. Streamline and you will make growth not only possible, but probable.
Resource – What training is needed? What materials were running low? What systems were losing effectiveness? Simply put, what do your core leaders need to be and do better? Discover these and invest in the best you can afford. You can’t afford not to.
Recruit – It could be that some of your core leadership need more than a little time off? Some may need to simply step down. Give them permission or simply inform the stubborn ones that their time in this position has come to an end. Celebrate them and then seek out those who feel called, gifted and passionate. See that they are informed, trained, coached and otherwise ready to go.
Relaunch – Set the date well in advance. Then plan, prepare and promote, promote, promote for the relaunch. Make it a little bigger deal and slightly more over-the-top than you think you should and you may have it just right! Oh.. and let your team know from the git-go when their next “5 R” break is going to be.
You may want to use other words like respite, retreat, renew, renovate, or you may not be as “OCD” and use some that don’t begin with the same letter. However, just one more “R…”
Remember. Even God took a day off.
NOTE: Many organizations, churches and teams practice this and I have simply gathered from many of these both this concept and strategy… no new news here.