For the week of March 21, 2005

Barriers to Effective Leadership Teams Part 3: The Lack of Trust
By: John Laster
There are three common, interrelated barriers to more effective leadership teams: the absence of a shared DNA, the presence of fear, and a lack of trust within the team itself.

Lack of trust among leadership team members is a widespread cancer in the body of Christ. The certain cure is fostering open communication that contributes to the knitting together of the team members’ hearts. Failure to lay a trust-enhancing foundation of open communication when a team first comes together will certainly compound the team’s problems over time.

In addition to regular “social” times together, and a dedicated prayer time each month, look for other ways to build in ongoing times for sharing within your team. At each of your meetings you would benefit by processing the group’s responses to a key discussion question. Be on the lookout for questions that will help your team members share from the heart regarding issues they are concerned about in your team. Some representative questions that you may find helpful include:

• What are the two most compelling or urgent burdens God has laid on your heart regarding this church?
• If you could change one thing about the way this leadership team functions, what would it be?
• What do you personally want out of this team?
• Do you feel we really listen to one another on this team? To what extent do you feel free to share what is really on your heart with this group? Explain.
• To what degree do you feel accepted by this group?
• What are the issues we have not addressed with one another? What are we avoiding in your opinion?
• What are the barriers to team unity here?
• To what extent is it acceptable in this group to disagree with one another?
• In what ways might our current organizational framework be detrimental to what we are seeking to accomplish in the congregation?