I have been spending the last several days thinking through the way we evaluate the team we are assembling as a church for leadership and carrying out a vision for multiplication into the future. It is stirred by prayerfully evaluating an elder candidate and desiring to create a system to prepare men and women for leadership at Reservoir.
I have as of late talked a bunch about laying foundation stones in the church for future health and just like some of the other blocks we build up, the team responsible for leading the church is a vital stone that must be nurtured and shaped along the way so as to prevent unnecessary roadblocks or division down the road.
Of course we have biblical guides for elders and deacons in the church but I want a list of keys to give us concrete metrics in reviewing the team. In this nurture and shaping then I have leaned on some others’ expertise for categories to use in evaluation of health of a team and have come up with 6 C’s (which is silly because everyone has C words as their list). And of all places, I found a Rotary article helpful toward this end.
Here then is my list, character, competency, chemistry, capacity, courage, and calling.
Character – This is our biblically outlined set of attributes of being above reproach respectable, hospitable, uncontentious, not greedy, just, and clinging to what is good (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9).
Are the members of the team people of character? Are they trustworthy and reliable? Have they endeavored to make the priorities of the team their own and are they willing to pursue what is right over self? These are important questions and while character can seem surface level you actually get a better sense of it over time. Things of character are revealed as difficulties arise and decisions are carried out. This is why Paul in his elder qualifications has the man’s reputation in mind. What do those that know him best say of his character?
Hopefully by the time the person joins our team their character has been proven but like anything, we can slip or let sin linger and go off the rails. We must remain watchful over not only doctrine but our lives as well.
Competency – We can never assume that because someone has character they also have the competency to actually lead. Do they have the life-refined experience and gifting as well as Spirit-infused ability to accomplish the tasks required? And more than just the ability to do it, does the candidate possess the will to do it. Are they willing to lend their expertise for the greater good and glory of Christ rather than their own name?
This can be taught with training and apprenticeship but we have to be careful where this lacks because it will be a definite drag on momentum of the team and church they are leading.
Chemistry – Often neglected in the church because we are all suppose to get along, chemistry is vital for healthy teams to move forward. This is not about forming a team of lemmings but people that trust each other and have the best interests of the team and church in mind and heart. This is a single-mindedness that defines a group that can be noticed in personalities, process, and productivity.
If we have to keep coming back to the table to discern why things unfold so poorly it might be a chemistry issue. This one requires gracious care because it might be an indicator that the person should not be on the team. just as Paul and Barnabas separated, some times the Lord changes the mix of personalities for healthy chemistry in leadership teams.
Capacity – While this key is related to whether the person is competent it has to do with the availability to serve and the margin to go beyond mere competency in leading with the team. Does this person have the time necessary to lead and do they have the capacity to grow as a leader?
The person that never grows or never seeks opportunities to develop as a leader is indicating they may not have the capacity for it. Without it only stagnation happens and momentum is stifled if not killed.
Courage – This key might also be called creativity in that not only should the leader be courageous enough to tackle difficulty and hardships, they also need to creatively face opportunities to make a difference.
Especially as elders, these are the leaders responsible for protecting the flock against false teaching or harm and if the individual doesn’t have the backbone (confidence in humble reliance on Christ) to stand for truth they don’t have what it takes to lead. For the health of a team this courage has to be spread around and while the vocational leader, or paid pastor, does have an obligation to take the bulk of hard situations, he can’t be left alone in it. All members of the team need the courage to work with each other and those they lead, even when things get hard.
Calling – The last key for me is probably the most important. Is the person, man in the case of elders, called to be in the office or role they are pursuing? Forming a team of leaders just because they have the resumes for leadership will get the church nowhere. They must be called by God for the time and purpose of leading.
More so than an individual call they should be able to recognize and submit to the Lord’s calling for direction of the church, the vision he has place on their hearts.
These are six keys that we can use to evaluate the health of a team or the addition to a team. By reviewing these aspects of life and leadership a team should be more equipped for moving in the direction the Lord determines for the church.
Of course all of this, in the church context, must be thouroughly bathed in prayer as the team trusts the Spirit to empower and lead them.
So what do you think? What are missing elements of healthy teams or leaders and how do we go about evaluating them?