By Doug Jividen

Many years ago, I began a journey of learning how to function using the team concept. The ministry had always been focused on the traditional plan of leadership through committees, but I had noticed that many were tired and often frustrated with this traditional form of leading. When a few made decisions for the many, and often never desired to be involved with the group that the decision impacted, it caused many to want to walk away from volunteerism. At that point, team concepts changed my perspective and caused a stirring in me to learn more.

Are team concepts Biblical? Yes. If we believe in the Trinity, we believe in team. If we study the disciples, we study Jesus’ team. If we look at the missionary journeys of Paul and Barnabas, we see team. Yet, if we begin to function as a team, it does not always mean all will be well. There is a common denominator in all of this, us. We are sinners. We will make mistakes, and our choices can cause the good that we do, serving and impacting the Kingdom, to come to a screeching halt.

Todd Rhoades wrote a blog quoting Scott Williams on the “5 Ways Church Leaders Destroy Their Teams.”

  1. My Way OR The Highway (MWOH): Everyone has an opinion and often times people have thoughts, ideas and suggestions that can be helpful to those that are in charge. MWOH is fueled by the insecurity of the Leadership Destroyer. MWOH can create an environment of control, but not an environment of healthy success.
  2. All About The Numbers: The numbers do matter; the bottom line is important and if it doesn’t make a dollar, it doesn’t make sense. In business, ministry or non-profit work, it’s important to measure things as it’s a great barometer for success. Where numbers become a problem is when the Leadership Destroyer focuses on the numbers, bottom line, and measurables so much that they forget about their team of people who are making those numbers happen.
  3. Talk But Don’t Listen: No one can get a word in or have an opinion because the Leadership Destroyer is always talking. Not only are they always talking, they never listen. If people are not heard, they will cease to say the things that matter.
  4. Change Things For The Sake Of Changing Things: Change is good and sometimes necessary to create forward momentum. The Leadership Destroyer takes this to another level by changing things just to let you know that they are the boss. They are unwilling to receive feedback or go back to what worked, even if their change isn’t working.
  5. They Just Don’t Care: The quickest way to destroy a team is to not care about the players on the team. Team members know the difference between the fake stuff and the genuine care and concern for the individual players and the collective team. Leadership Destroyers care more about their title, role, corner office, and the fact that they have arrived than they do about their team.

One may say, “We don’t function as a team. That is not our structure.” If you are leading alone, you are correct. There is no team, and that is a danger in and of itself. Just ask Moses how he felt when his father-in-law pointed out his leadership deficiencies. If someone else is working alongside you (deacons, elders, council, children’s ministry, etc.) there is a team. The question is, is it healthy or are you leading in an unhealthy manner?

In Church Planting, no one plants in a vacuum. We must live in team, adding to our numbers daily to impact our region, our state, and the Kingdom. That is a large focus of ours in developing Planters and Leaders through our Multiplying Pipeline with NAMB.

If you have any questions regarding how to use this development tool, please connect with Carol Houpt at our state office. You also can also connect with Nathan Millican, our Team Leader for Church Planting. If you desire to grow more in leading with team concepts, connect with Bob Weeks, our Team Leader for Church and Leader Development.

Leading well does not just happen. It is work, and for that to take place there is a need to learn HOW to lead well.

Begin the journey. Don’t be satisfied with how it has always been. Today is a new day to be the best leader you can be.