5 Dangers of Explosive Growth and What to Do About It

20111007-083303.jpg

5 Dangers of Explosive Growth and What to Do About It

by Ron Edmondson
Since the beginning of Grace Community Church almost 6 years ago, we have experienced what many would call explosive growth. We’ve seen hundreds each year come to faith and reconnect with Christ. That growth has impacted every ministry in our church and been felt by every stretched staff member. It’s been an amazing journey filled with lots of excitement.

I have learned, however, that there our dangers with fast growth in any organization.

Here are 5 dangers of explosive growth:

1. Masks real problems
Growth gets the attention. Everyone is excited. Momentum is high. Problems within a team or organization won’t show up immediately…but they will eventually.

2. Leadership poor
I didn’t say “poor leadership”…but leadership poor. When the organization is growing fast, you can never seem to afford adequate staff or train volunteers quick enough.

3. Inadequate Systems
I wrote about that HERE, but basically your systems do not support your growth, and you spend much of your time playing catch up to implement adequate systems to sustain growth.

4. People feel scattered/left behind
It’s part of the deal. With the rate of growth, communication is more important than ever, but people are stretched, often producing holes in the communication process.

5. Reactive rather than proactive
In a fast growing organization, “just keeping up” will be a consistent feeling emotion among leadership. You’ll often find yourself “making it up as you go.” With the speed of life in the organization, there never seems to be time to get ahead of the growth curve.

What can you do about it?

5 Dangers of Explosive Growth and What to Do About It

by Ron Edmondson
Be aware
Realize that everything may not be as seems. If momentum slows, the real problems will be revealed. The sooner you can identify these areas of weakness, the less damage it will cause in creating sustainable growth. Stay grounded in your faith as a team and as leaders so you can weather this season.

Recruit
It’s even more important in fast growth situations that you are constantly looking for new and developing leadership. There must be an intentional effort in every area to empower people and train volunteers for leadership positions.

Systematize
As much as possible, you should add structure to the organization along the way. You may never catch up with growth, but as problems are discovered, it will often be a systems problem. Again, the more ahead of this issue you can be the better. Continually think strategically of what is needed to ensure you can continue to grow at the current rate. You might consider reading THIS POST as you add structure.

Communicate
This is another systems issue, but the faster you are growing, the better your communication must become. Communication is always a struggle in any organization, but healthy organizations continually analyze their system and attempt to improve. In stressful times, communication must receive even more attention.

Discipline
It’s important, even during explosive growth, to discipline yourself enough to plan for the future. Leaders need to be visionary enough to look for what’s coming next and attempt to plan ahead. In spite of the constant demand due to growth, leaders must take time away from doing the work to evaluate and ensure operations are improved to maintain growth and momentum.

Scripture is clear that Heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents, so regardless of a church’s size or growth rate, there is something for which to be excited if lives are changing. Sometimes, God brings supernatural growth, and during those seasons, leaders should be especially aware of potential dangers. (Can you imagine the first century church adding 3,000 to their numbers in a single day?)

Have you ever been in an organization with explosive growth? What would you add to my list?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s