You can have a great vision, but if the team isn’t healthy and high-performing, the church won’t experience health and growth.
More than ten years ago (gosh that’s hard to believe) I started The Unstuck Group. This was after being a part of several great teams both before and during my life in ministry. My sophomore basketball team wasn’t so good. I cheer for some teams that aren’t so good. (I’m looking at you…the Cleveland Browns.) But, when it comes to my workplaces, I’ve been on winning teams.
I think my experience being a part of great teams clouded my perspective about helping churches get unstuck. I thought all we had to do was help churches align around vision, strategy and action plans. If we did this, it would lead to healthy, growing churches.
In many cases, that was true. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in every situation. What I learned was this—
you can have a great vision, but if the team isn’t healthy and high-performing, the church won’t experience health and growth.
For the first 10 years of The Unstuck Group, we’ve been solely focused on church health, but that’s about to change.
A couple of years ago I started talking with my long-time friend Lance Witt about helping us design a process to help teams get unstuck. Since then, he’s written a phenomenal book on that topic. The book addresses both the health and performance of becoming a high impact team.
Then, last December, a group of us got together and started to map out a new process to help teams live out the principles Lance wrote about in his book. We designed Unstuck Teams to address these aspects for having a higher impact team:
Any leader worth his or her salt will pause right now a do a little self-assessment. Which of those six areas are a strength in your leadership? Which of those six are weaknesses? Here’s a hint. Your team will reflect your leadership in all six of these areas.)
In my experience, it’s rare to find a team that’s firing on all cylinders in each of these areas. I’ve worked with teams who are healthy, but lack in the area of performance. I’ve worked with teams who appear to be getting results, but team is not healthy and relationships are strained.
In some instances, it wasn’t about health or performance at all. Instead the culture was toxic or the structure wasn’t well-defined. Employees didn’t know who was responsible for what. Some didn’t even know their own roles and responsibilities. As you can imagine, none of these gaps set the team up to have a significant impact. And when the team is not right, the church will never be healthy.
After designing the Unstuck Teams process, Lance joined our staff full-time. I wish Lance could join every team full-time. He not only writes and trains leaders on these topics, he lives them out. Lance is an incredible leader. (I would use that “he’s smoking what he’s selling” cliche, but Lance is from Colorado. I don’t want you to take it literally.)
Over the last six months, Lance and the team have been fully developing the tools to address the six aspects of high impact teams. Then they started test-driving everything. That included piloting the new Unstuck Teams process with four distinctly different churches. Our entire team gathered in Phoenix this past December to get a preview as well. I know I’m biased, but it’s an unbelievable process.
This probably will not shock you. My strengths as a leader are around performance, systems and structure. I really have to work hard at the health side. I have to be intentional about what it takes to create the right culture. I can lead in those areas, but it’s not my natural wiring. I have to really discipline myself about how I invest my leadership capital in those areas. I want to make sure those aspects of our team don’t suffer.
My suspicion is that you are no different than me. In some of these areas you have strength as a leader. In some of these areas there is weakness. Those areas of weakness can prevent your team…and your church…from having its greatest impact.
Over the next weeks and months, you’re going to hear more of my voice on this topic. You may get tired of hearing my voice on this topic. I’m willing to take that risk. I know the health and performance of the team will dictate a church’s Kingdom impact.
In other words, if your church is stuck, it might be because your team is stuck. You don’t have to remain there. Let us help you take a step forward in your leadership while we help your team get unstuck.
Through the Unstuck Teams Process, we can guide you to lead staff teams that love working together and get stuff done—spiritually, emotionally, and relationally healthy, as well as productive and high-performing.
You can learn more what the Unstuck Teams Process would look like in your church here. If you’re interested in starting a conversation, let’s talk.
Tony Morgan is the Founder and Lead Strategist at the Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He’s written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
Posted in Leadership