Why “Pandemic Silos” are Completely Understandable (and Must Be Destroyed)
Slowly but surely, our world is showing signs of reopening after the initial wave of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Across the country, various governors are giving the all-clear for churches to begin to meet again on the weekend. Some of us (my church included) seem to be a long way away from (a) reopening and (b) our normal weekend capacity, but we’ll get there, friends. We’ll eventually get there.
And when we arrive, I can almost guarantee you that all of our churches will have a feature that’s brand spankin’ new since the ‘rona came on the scene:
We’re familiar with “ministry silos,” those initiatives / projects / processes that are built in isolation by a person or small group of people. Silos will kill the overall vision of the church and reduce overall effectiveness. Silos waste energy, time, money, and sanity.
Here’s what I know: pandemic silos are completely natural, absolutely understandable, and potentially unavoidable. In the first few days and weeks after our world went on lockdown, churches were doing all they could just to get brand-new things off the ground. We were all in a bit of survival mode.
I saw our staff team working harder than ever, trying to make new plans and invent new systems to keep our people from falling through the cracks. New processes came up seemingly overnight, and the crazy thing is…most of them worked! People are still getting connected and ministry is still thriving.
But, over the last few weeks I’ve noticed more than a few pandemic silos that are going to have to be dealt with. In one situation, we had at least two forms and four names that were pointing to and describing the exact same ministry. It was confusing to our staff and confusing to our people. That connection opportunity was being silo-managed by three different teams…mine being one of them.
Again, I want to stress that this is understandable. No one did anything wrong. No ministry was trying to one-up another. But we’ve already begun the process of dismantling those silos in order to create one cohesive system.
As we start to re-open, a few questions might help us all identify those silos:
- What are the big projects each team has worked on since mid-March?
- What new pages have been created on our website?
- What new forms have been created in our database, on Google Forms, in Wufoo, etc.?
- What language was specific to the pandemic that we can now transition back to normal verbiage?
- On our staff, who needs to have conversations with whom to make sure we’re all back in the same playbook?
What are other ways you’ve discovered pandemic silos? Comment below.