So who gets to be on the Sr. Leadership Team at your church? Is it based on who’s been there the longest? Is it based on who has the “in” and best relationship with the Sr. Pastor? Is it done, like Congress, by ministry representation so every ministry is represented? While all those things aren’t bad things in and of themselves, they aren’t necessarily strategic. And they certainly won’t move you any closer to accomplishing the vision that God has for your church. Here are 10 characteristics that you should be looking for when you’re thinking about adding someone to your Sr. Leadership Team.
1. Big-Picture Thinking
They think about the church before they think about their ministry. They understand that everything affects everything. If I’ve got a Youth Pastor who Youth Ministry is their first filter, they can’t be on the Sr. Leadership Team. The church has to be the primary filter before any one ministry.
They naturally think about steps, movement, and alignment to vision. They’re strategic about how to get from here to there. They have a leadership intuition and can appreciate and move back and forth between the art and science of leadership even though they have a natural bias for one or the other.
They have a leadership gift. While leadership skills can be coached and developed, the Scriptures are clear that leadership at its essence is a gift from God. I hate to burst your bubble, but everyone isn’t a leader.
They’re a stakeholder and vision carrier in your organization. They don’t allow the vision to be relegated to just the Sr. Pastor. They’re constantly asking themselves, “What did I do today to advance the vision of the church?”
They embody the culture of your church, or the culture you’re trying to create in your church. They embrace and live out the unique values of your church in their personal life not just their work life.
6. Team Builder
People are already following them. They have the ability to attract, recruit and develop teams of people to accomplish things that no one person could do alone. They are already moving people in a coordinated effort towards a destination. They don’t simply delegate tasks they empower people.
They actually get stuff done. They have demonstrated the ability to turn ideas into reality. They communicate action steps clearly, meet deadlines, and deliver on their promises. I’ve got to trust this person. I’ve got to know if I pass them the ball they’re going to catch it, turn up field and get a first down.
I put this one on the list at the risk of sounding shallow, but I’ve got to actually like the people that I’m leading with. If they don’t pass the “I like you” test, it’s not happening. Highly talented people can mess up a locker room if there’s not good chemistry between them and the rest of the team.
9. Biblical Requirement
They’ve got to meet the Biblical requirements for pastoral leadership. After all we’re not building a corporation, we’re shepherding the body of Christ. What we are doing is intrinsically spiritual and those leading the church need to meet the spiritual requirements to sit in that seat.
Humility is the context in which all the other fruit of the spirit thrive. They must have a teachable spirit and be a life-long learner. They need to be able to lead with the right questions, not just the right answers. Humility provides a pathway to access the true person and essentially is linked to trust. And the best Sr. Leadership Teams run on trust.
Interested about learning more about Sr. Leadership Teams? Check out my interview with Tony Morgan about his book “Take the Lid Off Your Church: 6 Steps to Building a Healthy Sr. Leadership Team”
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