Team Killers: What Kills Church Leadership?

We hear about it in sports all the time: a player is labeled a “locker room cancer” or some other inspirational nickname.  By the time it has come to the point of name calling and finger pointing we all know that the end of a team is near.  While we are often incredibly focused on finding out who is to blame for the failure of the team, how often do we look back at the the team’s history to identify the behaviors that led to the team’s dysfunction?  How often do we look to see the seeds of failure that were sown in the past, and learn how to prevent team failure in teams to come?

Team building is an art, not a science.  Over the last fifteen years that I have spent building and equipping church leadership teams I have learned more ways to kill one than I would like to admit.  A healthy team, a team that is clicking, a team that is running on all cylinders is something special and is capable of doing things that are hard to believe.  While my hope is that every church in the country operates as a healthy, effective team, I realize that we are human and this is not always the case.

Over the next few weeks I want to take some time to look at those things that keep church leadership from being healthy, or team killers.  Let’s take a look at a few of the topics we will be walking through:

  • Over-functioning.  Are you, or is someone in church leadership doing too much and enabling others (including yourself) to slack off?
  • Mind Reading.  Do you, or does your team, make assumptions about other team member’s thoughts, agendas, or motivations?
  • Lack of Listening.  Can your team listen, I mean truly listen, to one another or are conversations merely a group of people talking at one another?
  • Mistrust.  Do you believe your team has your best interest at heart?  Do you believe that they have your back?
  • Lack of Community.  Does your team have have a sense of community, or are you forced to work with one another?

While this list is in no way exhaustive, I believe it represents some of the biggest team killers that plaque the church today… I look forward to walking through these with you.

What am I missing?  What do YOU think are the biggest team killers in the church?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.