Led by Leaders in the
Context of Teams: At Living Faith we are led by leaders
and not by commitees. At the same time, leadership teams exist in
every part of the life of the church.
God has given each of us the right gifts so we can fulfill His
particular will for our lives.
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he
gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit,
though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are
many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (1 Cor. 12:11-12)
God made each of us what we are: our personalities, our gifts and
talents, our experiences all contribute to the unique individuals
that we are now. We need to be who we are, and to do it well!
In a team, we can have those who are strong in leadership characteristics
and those who are strong in management characteristics and those
in-between. As each person finds his appropriate place in the flow
of things, the team will do well.
If the team, however, makes all the visionary, "big-picture"
decisions by unanimous agreement (if that is one's conception of
"team leadership"), then many times those decisions will
be the wrong ones since they will be made by managers, whose abilities
and priorities are fundamentally different from leaders.
We need balance in the team. The leaders need to make the leadership
decisions. The managers need to make the management decisions. Together
it works very well.
Often, managers in a team will want the leader or leaders to be
"accountable." Certainly the leader must be accountable.
But this is not accomplished by putting managers in charge of the
leader's decisions! If that happens, the organization will never
Thus, what is popularly called "team leadership" in many
circles is, in reality, "team management."
Managers should allow leaders to make the leadership decisions,
and leaders should allow managers to make management decisions.
And those with a strong leadership-management mix in their abilities
should clearly understand the nature of the particular decision
that is before them and make that decision accordingly. For more
on this subject please see Leaders
& Managers: SpiritBuilt Leadership #5 by Malcolm Webber.
A team of elders oversees, in a general way, the life
of the church. In addition, the senior pastor is formally accountable
to two brothers who are outside of Living Faith - they have the
legal power to remove him from leadership if such an action became
necessary. Thus, at Living Faith we hold a strong balance between
giving leaders the necessary authority to lead effectively without
their hands being tied by the endless politics of committe-bound
church systems, and maintaining an effective structure of
accountabiity for the safety of the people and the integrity of
Our structure may not be for everyone, but it works very well for