There are two components making up the “leadership system” in most congregations: the board and the operational management team. This cohort is the formal leadership group, or groups, that execute the two core elements of leadership:
1.) They discern the spiritual and missional destinations and/or establish boundaries within the congregation. Frequently this leadership element will be “owned” primarily by the board.
2.) They execute day to day operational management within the congregation. Almost always this leadership element is anchored around the nucleus of the pastor and core staff or laypersons.
In your congregation, are these two functional elements of leadership each assigned to a different team or are they executed by the same team? Discuss these questions with your team (or teams): Which core element receives the most attention in your congregation? Functionally, how effective is your current approach in your opinion? What is the atmosphere in your leadership team right now? What are the three greatest needs for this leadership team as a group?
Most leadership teams are transactional when they’re together. Break out of this mode and spend some time as a team reflecting and praying about your team and how you function together. The above questions can be catalysts for deeper dialogue and reflection for the group. In groups that are not familiar or comfortable with talking about who they are and what is going on under the surface of the team, it can be helpful to pass out 3×5 cards and ask each person to respond anonymously to two questions you have selected, one on each side of the card.