Sunday, October 26, 2008

More notes on "Doing Church as a Team"

In my last post I reviewed Wayne Cordeiro's "Doing Church as a Team". Here are some more detailed notes I took while reading this book.

The first three chapters set the foundation for team-based ministry. (1.Reaching for God's Best; 2.God Has a Plan; 3.Don't Forget Who You Are)

Chapter 4 - "All God's Chilluns Got Gifts". Excellent discussion of God's unique shape or design for each of us, how we were made to serve. He describes the acronym DESIGN:

D for Desire – what is your passion?
E for Experience – what past experiences, hurts, have made you who you are?
S for Spiritual Gift – what are your spiritual gifts?
I for Individual Style – each of us has a unique temperament or style.
G for Growth Phase – where are you in your walk with Christ (infant to maturity)?
N for Natural Abilities – what do you enjoy and are good at doing?

Three great results from using our design/gifts in serving others: 1. Amazing Joy; 2. Healthy Accountability; 3. Accelerated growth (you grow more spiritually when you're acting as Christ did, serving others).

Chapter 5 - "Finding your Fit", your design for ministry. Cordeiro introduces an acronym quite similiar to SHAPE... 'DESIGN' - Desire, Experience, Spiritual Gift, Individual Style, Growth Stage, Natural Abilities. "Your passion in the area, or arena, where you feel most motivated to use your gift. Knowing your spiritual gift will answer the what question, knowing your passion will answer the where question." "When you operate in your gift and passion, you will enjoy maximum effectiveness and a minimum of weariness."

Chapter Six, "The Fastest Way to the Throne" highlights three blessings of using your gifts: Know amazing joy; enjoy healthy accountability; experience accelerated spiritual growth.

Chapter Seven, "Mining Leadership Gifts in the Church". Opens with this quote: "One of the most critical keys to doing church as a team is to build an ever-increasing core of servant-leaders. No pastor was designed to do church alone." Then he talks about finding by believing: "The first step in building a core of leaders is to believe that they are there... so look!" Approach on how to find them was interesting - how to pave the way for an influx of new leaders? "Start with their dreams."

Security Checkpoint - are you a secure or insecure leader?

A secure leaderAn insecure leader
Encourages others’ attemptsSabotages others’ efforts
Points out others’ strong pointsBrings attention to others’ faults
Overlooks flawsUses others’ flaws as ammunition
Readily admits own mistakesIs defensive and justifies mistakes
Gives away credit to othersDemands or manipulates credit
Rejoices when others succeedIs jealous of others’ successes
Is excited when others do it better   Is easily intimidated
Is willing to risk to improvePlays it safe to retain position
Is content to remain anonymousRequires others to notice
Is quick to build teamsWants to do things himself

Chapter Eight, "Developing Servant Leaders." Quotes include: "God is less interested in what you're doing than in what you're becoming." "Character is the ability to follow through on a worthy decision long after the emotion of making that decision has passed." Cordeiro discusses 'shadowing', or a younger/candidate leader following around a more experienced leader: Three stages of Shadowing: Step 1. I do. You watch. Step 2. We do together. Step 3. You do. I applaud.

Chapter Nine, "Setting Your Compass." All about vision - not coming up with something clever but abiding in God until you see His blueprint for your life and/or your church. Cordeiro gives some excellent questions to think about. If your church could only accomplish four things, what would they be? How much of our ministry is geared toward the harvest, and how much is designed to take care of the grain? The process of receiving a clear vision starts with dreaming, but it also takes work to hammer it out and make it clear, then craft a custom trumpet to blow and share it. A worthy vision will be grounded in God's word, consistent with the Greta Commission, hammered out until it is clear, concise, and easily understood by everyone. Finally, it must guide everyday activity.

Chapter Ten, "Alignment: The Power of Moving Together." Cordeiro notes "The strength of any vision lies in alignment - that is, vision caught and shared by every person involved." Any vehicle out of alignment cannot function up to its potential. One thing worse than a church with no vision is a church with many visions. Alignment is like a set of arrows all pointing in the same direction. You must constantly check for alignment - is each ministry functioning in accordance with the vision of the church? The next key step is to identify your core values. These values act as a reference, a 'North Star', providing a sense of direction and cohesion. 

Chapter Eleven, "Building Teams." He stresses the body of Christ not as an organization but as an organism, every member connected to Christ. No one can do it alone. Cordeiro then explores an interesting practical paradigm for building teams - the fractal team. A mathematical concept, a fractal is a geometric object that can be split into parts, each of which is essentially a miniature copy of the whole (self-similarity). His view then sees teams as repeating patterns, each with similar structure and similar purpose. When starting or structuring a ministry, the leader doesn't jump in and directly try to do everything. Instead they assemble a team of people each overseeing a different area or aspect of the ministry. If those areas are still large, each leader will then assemble their own team, and so on. The key advantages? Growth without burnout or need to restructure, and a proper span of care to foster healthy relationships. Another key advantage of these teams of five is the ability to care for and disciple the team - it's one feasible approach towards a church of (not with) small groups. The chapter concludes with a simple design for implementing this approach (I hope to make another post on this). 

Chapter Twelve, "Transitioning a Church Culture." Having core values well known is essential, but for making a specific transition it's also important to discuss and clarify the biblical reason behind the change, discuss it with leaders until it resounds, clarify for everyone what will not change, make clear the benefits of the change, and do it - realizing it will take time (it takes seven years to grow and oak but just three months to grow squash).

Chapter Thirteen, "Nurturing the Team." Growth (in size or in strength) can't be forced, but it occurs naturally in the right environment / culture. His five principles for nurturing your team: 1. Incubate the right culture; 2. Raise the value of healthy relationships); 3. Live to make others successful; 4. Stewarding authority; 5. Watch your starting points. 


Anonymous said...

wow, i need to read this book. totally diggin your blog. great post. thanks for sharing.

Larry Baxter said...

Hi Brewster! Thanks for your kind words :)