Teams That Thrive: The 5 C’s of a Compelling Purpose

“Without a 5C purpose, a team will never reach its potential or be able to set meaningful performance goals.”

Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership
By Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird (InterVarsity Press, 2015)



Rick Warren’s bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life repeatedly asks, echoing its subtitle, “What on earth are you here for?” He challenges individuals to determine their unique calling that best utilizing their strengths and impacts the world around them.

Teams need to ask the same question: What on earth are we here for? What is it that we must do? What is it that only we, as a senior leadership team, can do for this church?

Ryan has found that great teams coalesce around a 5C purpose. The idea comes from an alliteration he developed from both church and marketplace research. Carl Larson and Frank LeFasto, luminary researchers and authors of the classic book When Teams Work Best, found that great teams held a clear and elevating purpose. Likewise, Harvard research Richard Hackman identified that the best teams pursue a compelling direction that is clear, challenging and consequential. And in faith-based contexts, the best teams don’t ask their members to check their callings at the door; rather, they enable them to pursue calling as part of the team’s work. Pulling these concepts together yields these five Cs:

*Clear. Does the team’s purpose paint a clear picture of value?
*Compelling. Do team members view the purpose as consequential? Does it address something that truly matters, drawing people into it?
*Challenging. To accomplish the purpose, is each member of the team required to contribute in a meaningful and interdependent way?
*Calling-oriented. Does accomplishing the purpose help members accomplish God’s calling on their lives and pursue their goals?
*Consistently held. Do the members of a group truly know the group’s purpose and pursue it with fervor?

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The purpose of your leadership team must be crystal clear, as everything else hinges on purpose. With that in mind, you might want to adopt clarity evangelist Will Mancini’s five characteristics of viral vision statements, also stated as “five Cs,” as you articulate your team’s purpose. A purpose statement is clear if a teenager could understand it, concise if it can be stated in one breath, compelling if people want to keep on talking about it, catalytic if it drives action of all members of the team, not just the team leader, and contextual if it specifically fits the particular church’s vision and personality.

If you forget everything else, remember that all teams form around purpose, and they bond by pursuing that purpose. In fact, true teams are differentiated from mere work groups based on (1) the extent to which the collective purpose is shared among the group, (2) the level of commitment members have toward that purpose and (3) the clarity of and commitment to performance goals that drive toward the purpose. By contrast, members of work groups don’t share any overarching purpose and vary in their commitment to the group’s task and goals.

“A common, meaningful purpose sets the tone and aspiration” for any real team. Does your team have one? Without a 5C purpose, a team will never reach its potential or be able to set meaningful performance goals, which transform the broad purpose into specific and measureable performance challenges, focus the team on pursuing results, facilitate decision making and constructive conflict, and drive the development of an approach to get the work done.

Six Benefits of a 5C Purpose

A 5C purpose offers extensive benefits for your team, as the following points illustrate. A 5C purpose:

1. Narrows your team’s scope. It’s easy for senior leadership teams to equate their purpose with “leading the church.” The problem with that, however, is that nothing is excluded from that purpose. If everything is supposedly the team’s purpose, then in actuality nothing is. Teams that don’t narrow their focus end up trying to do too much, which typically results in actually accomplishing very little. These teams spend seemingly countless hours meeting, leaving little time left for accomplishing key elements of their work outside of team meetings, such as meeting with staff or volunteers, building teams, executing strategies and the like.

2. Creates space for staff or volunteers to contribute at a high level. When a leadership team takes on all leadership functions, they don’t leave any of those functions to others, ultimately disempowering others at the church. A leadership team with a too-broad purpose takes on too much, tends to overmanage and prevents others from feeling that they’re making an important contribution to the church’s mission. At one church with a leadership team that took on too much, staff pastors who were not on that senior team indicated that they couldn’t see their own fingerprints on their ministry. Combined with working long, hard hours to serve a burgeoning church, more than one of these pastors expressed thoughts of leaving to go to another church where they would have the opportunity to more meaningfully contribute.

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When a leadership team limits its role of leadership, it takes seriously Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 4:12 for pastors and teachers to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” rather than do all ministry themselves. When it doesn’t, it prevents others from doing crucial ministry work. In chapter eight on membership, we discuss how key leadership functions can be spread among a few different pastoral staff and volunteer groups.


  1. China’s wide variety one matchmaker

    China has always had matchmakers but none really like Gong Haiyan, Who set up the country’s largest online dating website as a graduate student, 10 these days. It presently has nearly 100 million users.

    As we are packing up our camera equipment, Gong Haiyan hitches up her skirt and shows me a long blue scar on her right leg.

    “A tractor problem, She says in her point in fact voice. “In the summer break I was trying to earn extra cash by selling ice creams. But on the way to the factory the tractor fell into a ditch and I was crushed under,

    Gong, One of China’s leading female business owners, started off on young. The self made millionaire was born in a village in Hunan Province where existence was a struggle.

    Like facebook, Gong’s online was set up from her college dorm

    Her grandpa, Once a rich landowner, Was persecuted in the Cultural wave. this is why, His son was prohibited to finish primary school. But although her parents had received little formal working out, they were fiercely ambitious for their daughter.

    Her sex-life, however, Was non existent and her parents began to be able to.

    “I was more than 25 yrs. old and by Chinese standards I was a leftover woman, she says. “My mum and dad kept uneasy me to get married,

    So Gong paid 500 RMB (approximately 50 or $80) to subscribe with a dating website. But she got no replies and later discovered the organization had stolen lonely hearts profiles from other websites.

    “I wanted to get my money back, states. “But I was refused a refund and people just laughed in my face,

    Gong was bluntly told that she was “Not particularly beautiful or charming” understanding that “Successful men couldn’t possibly become” in her.

    “I felt very fuming, states, “So I asked a friend of mine how much it costs to make a website and I set up my own dating service,

    China’s largest dating foreign girls website, produced October 2003

    Gong actually encouraged the first 1,000 part to enrol

    She met her husband in the exact location, hitched in 2004 and had a baby in 2009

    Jiayuan now has nearly 100 million users and tens of thousands sign up daily

    It has helped people from all walks of life, between 18 to 80, to learn their match

    Like hub pages, Gong’s website was set up from her college dorm and the first person to post a profile was her best friend, A fellow junior. Four days later she persuaded the second person to join.

    In the reception of the Beijing head office there’s a flickering screen under a pink heart with two sets of numbers, Which keep climbing non-stop.

    On one side there are the new registrations and it seems that several people sign up every few seconds. on the other side there are the successes including those who now describe themselves as in a steady relationship with people they’ve met on the site, And these dramastic measures now married.

    There are no figures for divorces and break ups but I’m told that the company is valued for its serious approach to unions. “Our users demand life partners, Not a form of fun, speaks Gong.

    In are likely to 2011, She travelled in triumph to New York where her company had its initial public offering on the Nasdaq and had become the first Chinese dating site listed abroad.

    But arguably Gong’s most important victory was when she found her husband to be on the site.

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    In china based online shop, 118 boys are getting born for every 100 girls

    By the end of this decade the will have 24 million “outstanding men” Of marridate of birthable e

    around 2020 and 2050, Some scholars estimate that 15% of Chinese men usually do not find a wife

    But Gong says she didn’t treasure material wealth. “I needed somebody smart, Kind hearted and good for you hot moldovan women.

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