I always enjoy reading American Mega Church Pastors on how we should ‘do’ church…no, honestly, I do! I enjoy Hybels, Warren and Driscol…and now I love Larry Osborne. Sticky Teams: Keeping your leadership and staff on the same page is a great book on keeping unity within the local church. Whilst a good third of the book is devoted to large staff teams (which is a bit irrelevant for me), the rest the book has some really good Biblical insights, wisdom, examples and challenges.
Larry states early on that ‘the health and long term effectiveness of any ministry begins with the unity of its primary leadership teams’. He shows how traditions, ‘leaders for life’, and aggression in deacon-ate/ elders meetings all conspire to ruin a local church. Larry shares a lot from his experience of arriving at a small church hand having ‘dark days’ of a dis-unified leadership that would block him at every decision. He then explains how he changed practices, policies and philosophies to ensure a more unified approach (which did not involve creating clones).
I found this book very challenging on the need to be very intentional in leading the church and ensuring that the right people are on the bus, and in the right seat! Believe it or not, Larry comes across as rather humble and is willing to point out his mistakes and faults. The chapter on ‘guarding the gate’, making sure you have the right deacons/ elder/ staff is a very important read.
Whilst his American Mega church is a thousand miles away from my Welsh small congregation, I did feel there was a lot of crossover. I wonder how more effective the church in Wales would be of we took some of the following advice:
- Philosophical unity is key
- The “no they’s” rule
- Protecting the leadership gate
- Why giftedness is overrated
- Why you shouldn’t oil squeaky wheels
Anyway, I guess you should read the book if you want to understand those.
You can have a look inside the book here.