Pivoting Your Leadership Teams

I am not sure there is anyone who would disagree with the statement that in order for a church to be successful in carrying out its mission leadership and leaders are key. Of course, God is in control and without God there is nothing that we can do, but we’re also clear that God has […]

I am not sure there is anyone who would disagree with the statement that in order for a church to be successful in carrying out its mission leadership and leaders are key. Of course, God is in control and without God there is nothing that we can do, but we’re also clear that God has given us great leaders. Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, says, “You need the right people in the right seats.” The main thought here is that you can have the right people in the car or bus but then have them in the wrong seats. As this season extends, many of our churches need to examine our leaders and where they serve. We have to ask ourselves at least two questions in this pivot:

Pivot Question No. 1 – Are they still in the right seat? As this season has caused us to make several pivots to stay connected and relevant, we need to also turn our attention to those in leadership as well. Some of our leadership teams may have been serving in an area that was very active and needed before this season, but now that area may not be as much of a concern.

Can we move them into a new area of service where they can add more value and help us reach more people? Some of our leaders might actually want to do something different and/or add value in new ways; this season might be just the right opportunity to explore these options.

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What if there is a leader on your team who isn’t being as engaged in the work of ministry now but has the potential to add new value in a new area? What if they can help you build your social media presence? Help you develop a strong website? Or help you launch into new areas such as podcasting? We all need to look through our leadership teams and see what opportunities there are.

Pivot Question No. 2 – Are they still in the right groups or format? It’s not only important to make sure that our leaders are serving in the right roles, we also need to ensure they’re serving in the right groups or formats. In my experience leaders are great, but the teams they serve with can make them better.

During this season, it might be worthwhile to look at some kind of personal assessment tool to determine who works best with whom. A few years ago, our senior pastor shared a tool called StrengthsFinder from Gallup. This tool allows you to assess the strengths of each leader and see with whom they would serve best. There is nothing worse for a leader than to have them serve in a role they love but with people that they don’t get along with. Of course, as adults we can “play nice” or serve with people whom we don’t always get along with, but when we are aligned with those whom we serve with, the production or the result is much more effective.

As we navigate these new times, we can’t do it without a great team. That team is made up of leaders and we need to look at each person serving, whether paid or volunteer, to see if they’re in the right place with the right group. If we want to pivot well during this season, we can’t do so without making the correct pivot in our leadership team and format. Lastly, while I didn’t speak much on this, you might find that some people just don’t work with the team and the current direction anymore. It is best to have that conversation now and make a plan for how to move forward with the team member now rather than wait until later.

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What would you add or change? Have you changed seats during this season?