Serving as a church leader can be a tough assignment. Whatever your role, odds are you’ve known your share of the frustration, conflict, and disillusionment that comes with silly turf battles, conflicting vision, and marathon meetings.
No doubt, you’ve asked yourself, “How did it get this way?”
With practical and accessible wisdom, Larry Osborne explains how it got this way. He exposes the hidden roadblocks, structures, and goofy thinking that sabotage even the best intentioned teams. Then with time-tested and proven strategies he shows what it takes to get (and keep) a board, staff, and congregation on the same page.
Whatever your situation; from start-up phase, to mid-sized, to megachurch, Osborne has been there. As the pastor of North Coast Church he’s walked his board, staff, and congregation through the process. Now with warm encouragement and penetrating insights he shares his secrets to building and maintaining a healthy and unified ministry team that sticks together for the long haul.read more
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Reviews for Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne
Loved that it was concise, to the point and not wordy. It was also very short on scriptural references. Osborne does use scripture and biblical situations, but he mainly speaks from his earned experience as a leader of a large church for the past 20 years.
He deals with essential, practical issues of church leadership that will effect unity if you don't have a plan. Things like budgeting, letting go a loved, but ineffective staff person, how to clarify roles among staff and other boards, and whether or not your church is developing leaders for the future.
It would be well worth the time to buy copies of this book for your staff and primary leadership teams and then have 2-3 meetings discussing through the short questions provided in the back.
Intensely practical, and if even a portion of the book is implemented in your leadership structure, I truly believe you'll see an increase in unity and purpose to your team leadership and members.read more
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Enjoyed this look at improving relationships with the board, the staff and the congregation. Some of my favorite quotes include: “I’ve found twelve members to be the absolute maximum we can handle on our board and still have full, honest, and vulnerable conversations… As I write this, we have eleven on our board, counting me and three staff elders.” Six Things Every Leadership Team Needs to Know: Axioms to Lead By, The six urban legends of leadership 1.Ignore your weaknesses - Why most of your weaknesses don’t matter 2.Surveys are a waste of time - Why surveys are a waste of time 3.Seek permission, not buy-in - The myth of buy-in and why it kills innovation 4.Let squeaky wheels squeak - The truth about squeaky wheels and why you don’t want to oil them 5.Let dying programs die - When it’s time for a nice Christian burial 6.Plan in pencil - Fuzzy budgets and flexible policies, why you need them and why control freaks can’t stand them “Church harmony is inversely related to the amount of time spent oiling squeaky wheels” “Without a commitment and willingness to cease funding and staffing the programs that no longer work, we’ll never have enough money and energy to create the future.” “Overly restrictive constitutions and bylaws reveal a profound lack of trust…it took three years and a major rewrite of the constitution and bylaws to free up Sunday nights and Wednesday nights so that the church could launch a large-scale small group ministry.” “At this point, it was obvious that we needed to redefine the role of our elder board in ways I’d not foreseen. First, we had to redefine our spiritual role. There were simply too many people for us to know or spiritually care for. We had to find a way to push our role as spiritual shepherds out to the front lines. In our case, that meant making sure that our small groups offered the same kind of spiritual oversight and care that we’d always seen ourselves as responsible for.” “at North Coast Church, our small groups are the hub of our ministry and the primary vehicle for relationships, discipleship, and church health… That’s why our children’s ministry is not allowed to have a midweek program, no matter how great it might be for the kids and their ministry. We’ve found that most people will only give us two time slots per week (including the weekend worship service). If we had a midweek children’s program, the volunteer staffing needs would cut into our ability to get parents into small groups. And for the sake of the entire ministry, we believe a growing mom and dad is far more important than an awesome children’s program.” “Real ministry takes place in small groups. A crowd is not a church. It’s impossible for the biblical ‘one another’s’ to be lived out in a large group setting dominated by casual acquaintances. Therefore, the success of our ministry will be determined by the number of people we have in small groups, not the number of people who attend our weekend services.” “I believe the best way to reach non-Christians and disciple them to maturity is to make everything we do believer targeted and seeker friendly.” “North Coast’s mission statement is, Making disciples in a healthy church environment. Everything we do is geared toward reaching that goal. That means we judge our success by two questions. 1 How well are we moving people along the continuum of non-Christian to fully obedient Christian? In other words, are we fulfilling both halves of the Great Commission? 2 How healthy is our church environment? Something we measure by looking at our five Ws (word, worship, witness, works, and warmth).” “’Churches are a lot like horses. They don’t like to be startled or surprised. It causes deviant behavior.’ “He was right. The fiercest battles are seldom fought over theology. They’re fought over change, especially any change that comes as a surprise, alters a comfortable tradition, or represents a symbolic changing of the guard.” Four Step Change Process “I started to follow a four-step change process that I still use today when introducing any significant change or innovation to our board, staff, or congregation.” 1.Test the Waters 2.Listen and Respond to Resisters 3.Sell Your Idea to Individuals before Groups 4.Lead Boldly “at the five-year mark of our ministry, we wanted to make home fellowships the axis of our ministry. That meant cancelling most other programs and putting all of our stock into what was at the time an unknown quantity. And soon afterward, we moved further into uncharted waters with sermon-based small groups, a lecture-lab model that takes the weekend message and digs unto it more deeply.” “Our resisters told us that lots of people feared being stuck in geographic groupings in which they would have little in common with others except their neighborhood. They worried about studies that would be no more than sharing of ignorance or a regurgitation of the sermon. They fretted over being asked to share too deeply too quickly. And they absolutely hated the idea of being asked to divide their group after they’d started to bond. In short, they set an agenda of things for us to work on.” “Our listening and responding to their concerns didn’t win everyone over. Some folks still dug in their heels. But listening and responding did help us put together a far better small group ministry, one that has thrived for decades.” “Over the years, North Coast Church has gone through some huge changes. I often tell people that in terms of style and corporate culture, we’ve been three completely different churches during my tenure. Not that our message has ever changed; it hasn’t. And not that we’ve turned over or lost lots of people with a revolving-door ministry; fact is, our back door has remained relatively small.” “Nonetheless, we’ve changed a lot. I’ve gone from suits with monogrammed shirts, to Dockers, to flip-flops and jeans. We’ve morphed from searching for excellence to thriving in an atmosphere of laid-back authenticity. Our outreach methods have changed from special “bring-your-friends-to-church” events to massive service projects that send our people out to minister in the community. And we’ve gone from being a small everybody-knows-everybody-church to being one with multiple campuses and worship venues that feature everything from gray hair and hymns to body art and giant subwoofers.” read more
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