Building A Solid Church Leadership Team - Part III
As we continue in our journey of building a solid church leadership team, we must keep our focus on the critical aspects. The work of God is accomplished through people. Thus, we are building people. It is in the mistakes of building people that we end up hurting the ministry that God has put in our hands.
An all to common event within the church community called, "A Church Split." Many will use the scriptures about pruning the vine in order to describe why God has split a church. But "pruning" and "splitting" are two totally different subjects. When you "prune" you make healthier. When you "split" you damage.
I have never in my life seen a split that was God orchestrated. Splits divide families, turn people from the Lord, and create offenses in people. None of this is godly. Every church split is cause be "someone in authority." I've never seen a person who comes to church once or twice a month have the influence to split a church.
Since it always comes from within through a person with authority we have to look at the way the leadership team was handled. Was proper training in place or did we handle our leaders correctly. I feel that it always comes back to the main leader (typically called the Pastor) and how they address and/or develop those around them.
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Compromising Leadership and Team Loyalty
When second tier leadership (the leadership team serving the main leader and the body of believers) refer to senior leaders as "they" we can immediately see a problem. Every person in leadership should see themselves as part of the vision of the church.
Leadership is not a job, title, or ego stroking commitment. Leadership are those who have seen the vision of the church, understand the vision, and want to be a part of the success of the vision. There should be no "they" among the leadership team. Every person in leadership is vital to the success of the vision. We all have our job and we will all fulfill our responsibility to bring about the fulfillment of God's work.
Once there is a "they" mentality there is room for dissension. Once there is room for dissension there is the opportunity for "di-vision." Two visions trying to run simultaneously.
Unfortunately, many Pastors or senior leaders are not willing to deal with these issues when they first arise. They end up compromising the integrity of their leadership team because they don't want to loose brother so-and-so. The vision is bigger than any of us individually. People are replaceable therefore team loyalty is critical to a health church leadership team.
Trying to lead every person in the so-called blanket approach is a recipe for disaster. Anyone who is trying to lead every team member the same way or utilizing only one method should expect disappointment.
When you properly establish and effective leadership team you will have individuals with distinctly different personalities. Great leaders will understand this aspect of leadership and will adjust their development of leaders according to the individual's needs. Each person on the team having a different personality will possess different strengths and weaknesses. Approaching everyone the same way will lead to the leadership team feeling frustrated and inadequate.
Because the vision of the ministry is foremost, expectations and goals should never be compromised. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all mentality of leadership very seldom produces the desired results.
To have an effective team there must be a one-on-one component, even though the team will work as a team. If you are talking to an audience of one there will never be any confusion to who the conversation is aimed at. If all your communication is in a group setting then the "pitchfork" mentality will eventually manifest. (Pitchfork mentality is when information is given to us and we take our mental pitchfork and throw it to someone else - That was for Bob, I hope George is listening, etc).
Clarity allows us to quickly deal with the root of any problems. Once dealt with honestly and openly we can then move on. This will take one-on-one relational communication.
Blinded by the Trees
In the end leadership is about getting results not keeping busy. If we are not careful we can get so busy doing stuff that we forget about our objective - accomplishing things. If we cannot measure what we are doing then how do we determine if we are successful?
We should each be evaluated on our ability to execute the desired change for the purpose of producing positive results. The more we understand the cause-and-effect relationship between the things we do and the results that we obtain, the more effective we become at fulfilling the vision of the ministry.
This is only accomplished through constant attention to our intended goal. Once we give our attention to where we are going we will be focused on what needs to be done to get there. This will bring our attention back to leadership development. Equipping those who are going to bring the change that is necessary fur us to reach our destination.
Leadership cannot get blinded by management functions. Once our attention moves from pursuing our destination to handling the fires of the day then we have become stagnant. Develop your leadership team with individuals who can look beyond the current problems and come up with realistic methods to reach the goal. Put managers in place to handle the day-to-day problems that come up.