Good to Great

Posted on May 15, 2018
One of my favorite leadership quotes comes from the movie “Remember the Titans” when Julius Campbell is confronted about his poor attitude by Gary Bertier.  His response is “Attitude reflects Leadership”.  How true are those three words.  Over my 30 years of designing and building hundreds of churches, what consistently separates the good projects from the great ones is the churches Leadership Team and Building Team. 
In the case of many churches, direction is typically provided via the church’s vision and mission; however, these statements are often generic and unclear.  Jim Collin’s book Good to Great was written for the corporate world, but I believe it is equally relevant for the church and how the Building Team should be organized to work and function.  A strong Building Team that is clearly directed and empowered by a strong Leadership Team is virtually unstoppable.  Collin’s Hedgehog Concept, illustrated below, offers some clarity on this very important guiding concept.
Once a church determines what they are truly passionate about, what they are gifted to drive to success, and what they can do better than any other church, the foundation for all future activities has been laid.  In church world terminology, this is that church’s DNA.  This is what makes it unique.  The vision established through this process has just set a standard of excellence for the Building Team to follow and reference every step of the way through the following design and build process.

Even with a strong Hedgehog/Vision for your church, there will always be competing voices, ideas, and even agenda’s that can pull an un-disciplined individual away from the true focus of the ministry. Two important qualities must exist in the Building Team leadership.  First, Jim Collins repeatedly uses the word disciplined, and for good reason when applied to church design and construction.   Collins’

believes: “Good is the enemy of great” and the people on a Building Team will be key to determining this outcome.  A Building Team should be:
  • disciplined people
  • with disciplined thought
  • and disciplined action
Next, finding a balance of disciplined and personable leaders on your Building Team is the next challenge. True leaders have the ability to speak the truth gracefully while confronting the brutal facts of every situation faced.  Great leaders also have a personal humility that fosters a collaborative environment where ego and personal accomplishment are clearly subordinated to the mission of designing and building a facility that will significantly enhance the church’s ministry efforts.
Just as there are good and great secular businesses, there are good and great ministries.  When designing and building a facility that will set the ministry trajectory for years to come, the difference is the people who make up your Building Team.  Following just a few of the principles pointed out by Jim Collins will significantly improve the effectiveness of your Building Team.
Just as important, is the design and build company that is chosen to serve your ministry and guide you through the process of understanding your Hedgehog/Vision and making it a facility reality.  T&W Church Solutions is a reputable design and build firm that is dedicated to serving Christian ministries in the Midwest.  Our People, their Passion to serve, and our nationally recognized Process is proven to make your building experience a time of ministry focus, not distraction. 

Kurt Williams, NACDB CCC, LEED AP, is a Design/Build veteran at T&W Church Solutions with over 30 years in the industry, 25 of those years guiding over 100 churches through the various stages of Planning, Designing and Building their new facilities.  T&W Church Solutions is a Design/Build firm who partners with ministry-focused architects to serve the churches of Central Indiana as well as the only NACDB (National Association of Church Design Builders) Certified Firm in Central Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.You can reach Kurt at or 314.244.7637.