Larry Osborne wrote Sticky Teams to help pastors navigate the practical realities of leading, not just a spiritual organism, but also an organization. There’s not much theology found in the book; it’s a practical guide with seasoned wisdom sprinkled throughout.
Model Don’t Matter
“Even the clearest vision, greatest innovations, and most stellar programs won’t much of an eternal (or even short-term) difference if our ministry and leadership teams are mired in the deep weeds of disunity and conflicting agendas” (21).
Healthy Team = Healthy Church
“As the board goes, so goes the rest of the church” (25).
Unity looks like doctrinal unity, respect and friendship, and philosophy of ministry unity (28-30). So we need to get certain “secondary” and “third-tier” issues solved and then promise not to fight about it.
Roadblocks to unity
Osborne mentions five roadblocks to unity:
- Bad meeting space: Too corporate, not homey enough
- Ignoring relationships: Need to invest in friendships
- Not meeting often enough: Cramming too much in one meeting
- Constant Turner: Suggestion: Have indefinite terms to be renewed each year (43).
- Too many members: Team is too large to get things done. Ideal size: 7-11 members
Growing the size of the team multiplies complexity. FIGHT IT. 2 people = 2 lines of communication. 6 people = 30 lines of communication.
Pour gas on good stuff. We don’t have to be good at everything. In fact, we can’t.
Seek Permission, Not Buy In
Buy-in is overrated and too hard to get. Just get permission. It allows things to get up and running fast but you can close it down easy if it doesn’t work (79).
Let Dying Programs Die
Shoot them in the head. And move on to what is important.
Present First Drafts, Not Proposals
This keeps people in the loop so you don’t steamroll them.
From Doing to Empowering
I’m not the quarterback. I’m the coach.
Aim at a leader’s role
Teach and convey the leadership principle’s taught to me so I can pass them on to others. Most good leaders have a decent walk with God. Help do their job (130)!
PROCESS is more important than the curriculum!
Working through ideas and principles matters the most (134).
Help us know the route we’re supposed to take to the destination. Don’t make them PC.
Consider a “Get to Know Us” Class
Unpack the culture and vibe.
Should we know how much people give?
Osborne gives a few reasons. First, if we handle dark secrets in the counseling room, why not finances? Second, other ministries (like parachurch, etc.) know how much people give. Third, we still make subconscious assumptions about people giving.