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South County Community Church has been established as a beacon of hope for the lost, the displaced, the hopeless and those needing a hand up. The church administrator has presented a proposal for increasing motivation among staff, volunteers, and the congregation. Motivation is an important part of change that can lead to a creative environment where guilt-free, confident people pursue activities wholeheartedly. The ways and means to create this enriching environment is not a mystery. It is the ability to motivate by understanding what drives people, to communicate, to involve, to challenge, to encourage, to set an example, to develop and coach, to obtain feedback, and to provide a just reward.
A recent expansion of church ministries involved the opening of a 20 bed residential Christ Centered recovery home. Hope House was the beginning of a journey that has grown in population as well as need. The administrator has a contagious passion for working to reach and teach through Christ. Christie views the church as the model for people-oriented organizations and she has always involved as many people as possible with the formation of organizational goals or changes (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010).
One of her first duties as administrator was to have every person affiliated with the church to join together to re-write the Church's vision. The importance of active church and community awareness and involvement has been at the heart of increased communication through various venues (Kotter, 1996). Christie has been very clear on how her values have affected the work she does with all the various people within the church family. This shift took the church's mindset from one of tried-and-true rigidity and linear thought processes, to one that was sensitive to the changing environment with an ability to learn and adjust. Churches, like any organization, need cohesion and a common identity that aligns with the vision and mission of the people who make up the church body (Kotter, 1996). Preparation for future change may appear paradoxical when the change cannot be measured by tools that have become obsolete (Mindtools, 1995-2009).
The church is home to an extremely diverse group of individuals. In order to build strong diversity programs, according to Kreitner & Kinicki (2010) there should be appropriate and diverse people that model the desired behaviors. The individual differences of the people that make up the church was taken in consideration along the dimensions of self-esteem, self-efficacy, personality, locus of control, intelligence, mental abilities, emotions, values, and attitudes (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010).
The Hope House residents are newly recovering drug and alcohol addicts, some just out of prison or jail. Christie has employed Maslow's hierarchy of needs, with the residents. She has helped provide them with the basics: food, clothing, and shelter while incorporating social skills and a sense of safety (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). After a variable period of time the residents attend 12-step recovery meetings as well as church functions. During this time the focus is on building self-esteem and self-love. It has been amazing to watch the growth in the residents during a 90-day program. Most of the residents have become responsible individuals and have started to mainstream back in society. Very few actually reach self-actualization during the basic program, yet several Hope House alumni have been successful at achieving the level of self-actualization for extended periods of time and continue to be strong members in the congregation.
The congregation consists of wealthy, educated, and successful families who have found a passion in helping those who are not as fortunate. The main motivation that Christie has provided for this group has been the installation and reinforcement that what they are doing does make a difference in the lives of others. They experience the sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. These individuals are considered the church's guiding coalition and have been chosen for their integrity, hard work, superior communication skills and have complete faith in the motivational vision and will represent the church in how they walk their talk (Kwon, 2009).
The Church administrator has the explicit focus to motivate and support staff and volunteers in beginning the motivational change process for ministry expansion (Queensland Government, 2007). Several considerations need to be addressed regarding how to effectively communicate the plans for broadening the current ministries, who will be most affected, how the change will impact South County Community Church in the big picture (Queensland Government, 2007). In line with McClelland's theory, achievement, affiliation, and power needs have been considered during the selection process, for various positions within the church (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). The administrator has been honest about possible difficulties as well as providing sufficient information for full support regarding the importance and urgency of this project (Kotter, 1999).
Communication with everyone connected in any capacity or affected by this motivational change initiative will be determined according to the varying needs of each group, as assessed by the guiding coalition (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). This will be broken down into a two-tiered system of paper and electronic communication, allowing for better control of information reaching the target groups they are designed to impact (Dillon, 2009). The elderly church members who communicate primarily via pen and paper will have their information sent directly to them in a clear, concise and easy to understand written format. Using this form of communication puts this target group more at ease with the influx of new information. This group of senior members will then share this information with their groups; prayer meetings, bake sales, and rummage sales. This segues into one-on-one conversations on the telephone or in person. Word of mouth is the technology utilized by this group.
Electronic communication will go to the younger congregation and the more information technology savvy church members. Individual e-mail letters will be sent to each member. From there the information goes onto the information super highway, being transmitted via cell phones, text messaging, personal data assistant (PDA), and laptop computers using the Internet or the church Intranet. Each member of the coalition will open chat rooms for specifically targeted groups, depending on age and education, and will be language-appropriate for the intended target group (Pfeffer, 2009). These communications will also be topic-appropriate, based on what information is needed by each group.
Several church members have shown enthusiastic motivational support for expansion and have begun to set up various volunteer groups that will mentor the Hope House residents in various job duties (Walker & Freedman, 1996). The church administrator has made available her time and office equipment for whatever administrative needs may arise. The pastor has joined the church administrator in full support of this motivational change. The current volunteer leaders of existing ministries have set up weekly training workshops for church members wishing to participate in this project. The weekly leadership training has focused on volunteers learning to motivate trainees to be servant minded, flexible, patient, and durable (Dale, 1998). The church family has also shown complete endorsement for this project and has begun to sign up for the various areas where they have experience or special training.
Model for Motivation:
The motivational change that South County Community Church started has continued to be a sustaining productive ministry that strengthens the church and the community (Senge et al., 1999). The extended ministries involved several levels of the church through a dedicated mentoring fellowship that affected the community by an enriched development of spiritual life. The success of Hope House Ministries has come through the people within the church family. The church administrator has been able to energize individuals and maintain their enthusiasm. Christie's ability to understand what motivates people, has given her a very powerful tool for dealing with them to get them to achieve extraordinary results. Motivation and power are so closely linked together that one can say there is power in a motivated person (Tracy, 2009). Christie always showed great appreciation for people by paying attention when they talked, giving praise and encouragement continuously. Christie was able to mobilize this diverse group of people by giving them a common goal. This helped everyone feel a part of something genuine, special, and important.
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