I just finished reading the book Sticky Teams, by Larry Osborne. While I won’t write a review of the book here, or anywhere for that matter, I did want to pass on some info which may be helpful for anyone in any church at any size.
Osborne has pastored a church in California called North Coast Church for 3 decades and has humbly, but confidently, passed on some principles which he thinks will help create solid leadership teams. I didn’t feel like he sought out to give a formula for church growth-though his church has long since reached “Mega” status-but to help lay down leadership principles which he has learned throughout the years. So I really appreciated that.
What he did well was give numerous practical examples of how to build a team. Of course I’m not a senior pastor of a huge church, but then again most people aren’t. Yet I found a number of chapters helpful for anyone involved in ministry in a local church. One particular chapter seemed apropos for all churches: “Making Room at the Top-Why young eagles don’t stay.”
One thing which will ensure a church not to grow numerically, and only grow older and older without any influx of new folks, is the unwillingness of existing leadership to make room for new leaders. Over a prolonged period of time, this will leave a huge generation gap as developing leaders have no place to serve.
In regards to the practicality of actually applying this principle, Osborne recognizes it is incredibly hard and painstaking. He applies many of these principles to volunteer or staff teams, saying, “No one ever decides to change seats on their own.”
However, I don’t think this is always the case, as I’ve seen some evidence of the opposite here at Redeemer: leaders passing off areas of leadership to newer (not necessarily younger) faces. From allowing a newer person to oversee any area of children’s ministry, to training someone for projector/Media shout duties, we’re moving in the right direction. So I’ve seen this spirit of “making room” at Redeemer, and will pray it continues as the church matures.
Making room at the leadership table simply involves a desire to see new leadership raised up. A good leader is always raising up new leaders, and making room at the table by training others, scooting over, and sharing responsibilities/decision making.