Lessons From Outer Space

An organization's success depends on how aligned its workers are with the overriding mission. If your church struggles to find the right people for the right tasks, consider the "Know > Do > Treat" approach.

1. Know the mission. Your mission is what you're moving toward. Without it, you're lost. When JFK said the U.S. was going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, we all had somewhere to look to.

2. Do the vision. Your organization's vision is how you get closer to the mission. By actually doing the vision, you'll accomplish your mission. To get to the moon, NASA laid out a clear plan for how we could get there. We knew the Apollo program was the vision to realize the lunar mission.

3. Treat people really well. It takes people to accomplish the vision, which in turn accomplishes the mission. When people are treated well, it makes getting there that much more rewarding. NASA knew it would take a huge investment in people to make the mission and vision happen. If people weren't a priority for NASA, then why bother with the "return safely to earth" part of the mission?

The sequence of these three is a must. We tend to either ignore the third step entirely or put it ahead of the first two by pandering to people before we know the mission and do the vision. When treating people well is ignored or comes first, the mission suffers. And when the mission suffers, chances are high that more people will suffer too.


Brad Abare is the director of communications for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founder of the Center for Church Communication and president of Personality, a communication and marketing consultancy.

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