Tag Archive - sticky teams

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Top Posts of 2014 #4: “The Four Stages of a Church Staff Team”

I’m always looking for great word pictures for leadership systems and structures in the local church. Apparently other people are too, because this was the 4th most popular post on Helping Churches Make Vision Real this year!

If you’ve ever been a part of a growing church you know that growth changes everything. Especially the relational, organizational and working dynamics of the staff team. Larry Osborne, Lead Pastor at North Coast Church writes the following in his book Sticky Teams:

“Never forget growth changes everything. A storefront church, a midsized church, a large church, and a mega-church aren’t simply bigger versions of the same thing. They are completely different animals. They have little in common, especially relationally, organizationally, and structurally.”

Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Larry and hear him expound on this idea and talk about what he describes as, “The Four Stages of a Team.”

Stage 1: Track Star

The track star performs alone. They may train with others and their score may affect an overall team win, but they operate by themselves. This is the solo pastor. Typical Church Size: 0-150

Stage 2: Golfing Buddies

At this stage the church staff is highly relational. They enjoy deep relationships and doing life together outside of work. They’re doing what they love with people that they like. Typical Church Size: 150-600

Stage 3: Basketball Team

Basketball is a team sport not a friendship sport. It requires working together, trusting one another and sharing the ball. While there are still meaningful relationships, genuine camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose; there are too many players for everyone to be best friends. On a basketball team there are star players and role players. And they’re paid differently due to the role that they play. Typical Church Size 600-2,000

Stage 4: Football Team

This is the most drastic and difficult change. And it’s the reason why so many churches get stuck and so few ever break 2,000. Football can be a dangerous game if you think you’re still playing track, golf, or basketball. In the game of football there are highly specialized roles and team work is essential. The offense, defense and special teams all have different playbooks. Often times the offense isn’t even watching what the defense is doing while they’re on the field and visa-verse. They’re preparing for the next time they’re on the field. Everyone no longer knows what everyone else is doing. When the defense adds a new blitz package without telling the offensive line, the offensive line doesn’t care. They’re just glad someone sacked the opposing teams quarterback. And even in football there are different levels of the game. There is a big difference in talent, coaching, speed of the game, and complexity between High School, D1 College, and the NFL. Typical Church Size: 2,000+

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing

1

The Four Stages of a Church Staff Team

If you’ve ever been a part of a growing church you know that growth changes everything. Especially the relational, organizational and working dynamics of the staff team. Larry Osborne, Lead Pastor at North Coast Church writes the following in his book Sticky Teams:

“Never forget growth changes everything. A storefront church, a midsized church, a large church, and a mega-church aren’t simply bigger versions of the same thing. They are completely different animals. They have little in common, especially relationally, organizationally, and structurally.”

Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Larry and hear him expound on this idea and talk about what he describes as, “The Four Stages of a Team.”

Stage 1: Track Star

The track star performs alone. They may train with others and their score may affect an overall team win, but they operate by themselves. This is the solo pastor. Typical Church Size: 0-150

Stage 2: Golfing Buddies

At this stage the church staff is highly relational. They enjoy deep relationships and doing life together outside of work. They’re doing what they love with people that they like. Typical Church Size: 150-600

Stage 3: Basketball Team

Basketball is a team sport not a friendship sport. It requires working together, trusting one another and sharing the ball. While there are still meaningful relationships, genuine camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose; there are too many players for everyone to be best friends. On a basketball team there are star players and role players. And they’re paid differently due to the role that they play. Typical Church Size 600-2,000

Stage 4: Football Team

This is the most drastic and difficult change. And it’s the reason why so many churches get stuck and so few ever break 2,000. Football can be a dangerous game if you think you’re still playing track, golf, or basketball. In the game of football there are highly specialized roles and team work is essential. The offense, defense and special teams all have different playbooks. Often times the offense isn’t even watching what the defense is doing while they’re on the field and visa-verse. They’re preparing for the next time they’re on the field. Everyone no longer knows what everyone else is doing. When the defense adds a new blitz package without telling the offensive line, the offensive line doesn’t care. They’re just glad someone sacked the opposing teams quarterback. And even in football there are different levels of the game. There is a big difference in talent, coaching, speed of the game, and complexity between High School, D1 College, and the NFL. Typical Church Size: 2,000+


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

4

Making Small Groups the Hub of your Ministry

This past week I had the opportunity to spend some time at NorthCoast Church with Larry Osborne and his team to talk about Leadership and Small Groups (I’ll post more take aways in the weeks to come). If you don’t know already, NorthCoast is an outlier when it comes to small groups and you need to get to know these guys. While the norm across the nation is hovering at about 50% of weekend worship attendance in groups, NorthCoast is shattering that norm and boasts just over 90% of their weekend worship attendance in groups. That was enough for us to get on a plane and spend some time learning from these guys. Here are a few of my take aways:

1. Cut the Competition

You’re doing ministry in a world where people will give you 2 time slots. Leaders will give you 3, and ministry animals will give you 4. Consistently across the nation, every time you see a higher percentage of people in groups you see less competition for groups. That means fewer classes and other programs (menu driven ministry) for people to choose among. Groups become the step, not a step.

2. Limit midweek Children’s Events

Midweek kids ministry will kill your small groups because parents will always choose their children first over their small group. See above.

3. Important People are in the Important Things

Simply put, if your top leaders are not in Small Groups then Small Groups are not important. If your Staff are not in a Small Group then Small Groups are not a big deal.

4. Count and Respond to the Facts

You can’t respond to reality if you don’t know what reality is. That’s why you need to keep attendance in your Small Groups. In churches we’re often guilty of counting numbers instead of faces. We may think that we grew by 100 people in groups last year but because we don’t count faces and only numbers we could have grown by 300 and lost 200 and never knew.

5. Measure Retention

The most important measure of organizational health is retention. This is why you need to measure not just the high water mark of sign ups but also the retention of volunteers, of Small Group participants, & leaders.

6. Talk Like Everyone is in a Group

It may sound counterintuitive but a constant drip is more powerful than the momentary splash of large-scale marketing. This is why you need to make a reference to Small Group homework & conversations somewhere in each of your weekend sermons. This is not an advertisement or announcement, but a normal part of the conversation. For example: “I don’t have the time to talk about this but you’re going to talk about this in your Small Groups this week.”


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation