Strength-Based Vs. Area-Based

Strength-Based Vs. Area-Based

by Justyn Smith

So, I’ve been thinking and it all started with a phone call to Allyson Evans over at…

I took the opportunity over our phone call to ask Allyson a bunch of questions. Since our church has plans to expand beyond our property, I had some good questions regarding multi-site. Not so much on the mechanics, instead on the structure. She presented to me what they do. What they do is amazing. She has two ways to structure a campus. She has a structure in place for “Strength-based” or “Area-based”.

Strength-based is dividing responsibilities based on a person’s strength. Seems pretty self-explanatory. This means instead of having an Elementary Director and an Early Childhood Director you would have something like a Programming Director over ALL ages and a Volunteer Director over ALL ages, etc. There could be various strength-based roles depending on your organizations setup.

The Area-based structure is pretty common. This is how we currently do it and I’m pretty sure it’s how the majority of everyone else sets up their structure.

I’m playing with idea of changing our structure, but am not too sure. Let me type out my thoughts:

1. I don’t want to change just because someone else is doing something a certain way.
2. I do want to change if it works for the best of our ministry, church and staff.
3. I like strength-based because you’re really tapping into people’s passions and more of what their good at.
4. I like strength-based because the team as a whole works more closely together. Everyone has to know what the other does.
5. I like area-based because there is a defined leader and I’m still unsure how that looks in a strength-based setting.
6. As we go forward I LOVE having both options on the table and allowing each campus to pick their structure. This gives more ownership and doesn’t deviate from the overall vision.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Obviously, there’s a lot of details I didn’t share, but I would still love your input or how you structure your ministry.


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Justyn Smith is married to an amazing wife and is a father to five children. He is the children’s pastor at South Hills Church in Corona, CA and has a passion to help other children’s pastors become great leaders in their local church and ministry. He consults, writes, and is a frequent conference speaker. Justyn is the host of Celera Kidmin (click for more info) and has recently been named one of “Children’s Ministry Magazine’s” Top 20 to Watch. Twitter: pastorjustyn Facebook:
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