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Sticky Teams

February 17, 2011

J. D. Greear posts a helpful description from Larry Osborne’s Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page on what elders do at their church:

To help clarify the board’s role in an increasingly staff-led church, we identified the following three key functions (along with setting direction boundaries).

  1. Wise counsel.  The larger our staff-led church gets, the more I need advice from those who are outside the day-to-day grind.  If the staff makes up our royal court, the board makes up our council of wise sages and advisors.  They offer a perspective that those of us deeply immersed in the day-to-day ministry can easily miss.
  2. Brakes.  Our board holds the keys to accountability.  Should anything go amiss with me or the staff, the board is the one group that can immediately slam on the brakes.  While they don’t micromanage our expenses or programming decisions (we usually spend five to ten minutes max talking about our budget unless something is out of whack), they have the right to stop anything, anytime, if needed.
  3. A crisis team in waiting.  When a genuine crisis hits, it’s too late to try to throw together a team of godly and wise folks who have enough history and understanding of each to work through the tough calls, sharp disagreements, and dicey issues that come with any major mess.  If these people aren’t already in place, it’s hard to throw them together on the fly and even harder to navigate your way through the landmines.  Our board provides the security of knowing we have such a team already in place.  Like firefighters playing cards in the firehouse, they’re prepared, connected and ready if the bell should ring – and some days, bored enough to wish it would ring.


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