A high performance team or a loving family- which one is the church?

I’ve been looking at a few posts on various blogs about leadership and performance, and watching a bit of the Tour de France when I’ve had the chance. Alongside that I’ve been burying people, sitting with people who’re going through the mill, trying to be a dad myself and all the other stuff that goes with life and working as a minister in a church. This week I’ve chaired several meetings and been at others, and right now I’m drawing up a shift roster for a team of 20 people from 11 different churches for the Somersault Festival next week- see this post from last year if you’re not sure what thats about.

But right now I’m thinking about which of those two models mentioned in the title best describes or helps our leadership team at church, the leaders of the churches in our town, the gathered group of reps from local churches (called a deanery synod if you want to know) and our team for Somersault, and actually the congregations of both the churches I lead.  None of them are high performance, but then none are perfectly loving… but which do we want to head towards? In meetings there is a real temptation towards efficiency and performance, but are we getting things back to front? I guess I know what the answer is. I know that the exciting times in the meetings I’ve had this week have come from when we’ve gone slightly off-script and people’s hearts have shone through the agenda or the item we’re discussing. I know that. I know that in the church I’m part of we can organise things, but its when people help each other to overcome the unexpected problem that we’re really buzzing. And its when we don’t do that- when we find ourselves justifying being unhelpful with ‘its not my turn on the rota’ or similar comments, thats when we’re failing at being the church. The blip in performance may be minor, but its a major problem of the heart.

When a team works well, its slick and fast moving, but mostly because there is a clearly defined goal- win the game, sell the product etc. But when a family works well, often the goal is invisible or indefinable- we’re about being us…  The best of teams work really well because they are like a family. The best families eat teamwork for breakfast.

I don’t want to be part of a team. I want to be in a family.

But I want that family to be filled with love. I guess the onus is then on me to model that, to act out of love for those around me so that they’ll join in, and we’ll encourage one another, support one another, stand in the gap for one another.

I could go on to reflect on what Jesus did and what the Bible shows us… but I figure by now you may have got the drift- there’s no job spec for CEO in the Bible, or a flow chart of how the church leadership structure works as a hierarchy…but there is lots of stuff about being part of each other, and loads about love… go find it.


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