Grace, Accountability and Personality Type: Six Items to Encourage Positive Outcomes

In my experience, there are two types of people who are drawn into the world of faith ventures: pastorally-gifted leaders with a heart for incarnational city ministry and entrepreneurially-minded business leaders with a desire for a role with more significance.

If I would guess for Meyers-Briggs personality types, the first group would be made up of mostly INFJ's with the second group being ENTJ's. Bonus points would be given to someone who walks the line between an F and a T making them exceptionally well suited for running a faith venture by drawing strengths from both personality types.

When it comes to managing through the tension of grace and accountability in a faith venture, the incarnational pastors are going to struggle with holding people accountable to standards while the ENTJ business leaders will find it difficult to accommodate clients making bad decisions. In my view, the leader who is not either a strong F or a T is better able to gracefully hold people to standards in the chaotic enviroment of faith ventures.

But whatever the personality type, many of the challenges of grace and accountability are overcome by pro-actively dealing with the issue through the following six items:

  • Every faith venture needs a well-planned employee policy manual that details the rules and procedures of the organization. Too many organic community start-ups forget this important step. Clients who are rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison need firm ground rules and expectations. Without them, it's impossible to even be a place about grace.
  • Train, train, train. Regularly go over the policy and procedure manuals so that everyone on the team understands them and knows the resulting consequences.
  • Rigorously work to develop community throughout the organization. Faith venture employees thrive when they are part of a loving team. As I've shared before, Belay's regular hood-check meetings are the most important part of developing caring community.
  • Clients need to understand that you trust them and but that you have systems in place to verify. When a faith venture's systems are poorly equipped to catch dishonesty, dishonesty is going to occur. So carefully develop ways of lovingly encouraging accountability.
  • A faith-venture practitioner needs to see his or her role as a coaching leader. And part of that is regular performance reviews that often get forgotten in urban business as mission. But these reviews need to be more than just formal documents. They need to be at a minimum weekly performance meetings with supervisors that are more like a coaching or mentoring session. In my experience, faith venture clients thrive when they understand that you are a partner in their success verses just a traditional boss.
  • And finally be a place where gratitude is part of the attitude. When people know how much you appreciate them with both words and actions, accountability rises in a faith venture. Indeed, the positive power of faith ventures comes from its inherent nature of treating people as capable individuals who are able to thrive in the workplace. Regular appreciation roots out the poison of victimhood which helps individuals rebuilding lives to flourish in all aspects of their lives.


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