Friday, December 31, 2010

Sticky Teams: Selected Quotes (Chapter Three)

Today, I'm re-reading the chapter on "Guarding the Gate" subtitled "No Guts, No Unity."
  • Worst of all, once a toxic board member or a troublesome staff member has a seat on the bus, it can take an act of God to get them off.
  • The best time to remove a problem player is before they have a place on the team.
  • Intentionally keeping the pastor out of the selection process (or worse, putting someone on the board who is at personal or philosophical odds with the pastor) is like saddling a coach with a general manager & assistant coaches who don't buy into his game plan. It simply doesn't work.
  • If you don't have the guts to speak up on the front end, you don't have the right to complain on the back end. So shut up - and speak up next time.
  • I'm a strong advocate of selecting board & staff members who are leadership oriented. They don't have to be aggressive, charge-the-hill leaders. But they do need the ability to think in terms of leading the congregation where God wants it to go. And that mindset is very different from worrying about every minority opinion or asking for an opinion poll on the front end of every significant decision.
  • Don't forget, when the elders of Israel used an opinion poll to determine which way to go, they ended up wasting forty years in the desert.
  • I told the board that as far as I was concerned, the "theys" no longer existed. I'd happily listen to comments & critiques from people with real names & faces. But nebulous theys who didn't want their identity known & hypothetical theys we couldn't identify would no longer have any sway.
  • Our primary job is to listen to, discern, & carry out God's will, not the congregation's.
  • Good undershepherds never forget that they work for the Chief Shepherd, not the sheep.
  • Be esp. leery of those who are angry & argumentative for all the right things, particularly the single-issue crusader. I call these people pit bulls for Jesus... [The apostle Paul] simply said to keep contentious people out of leadership. Here's why. Pit bulls bite. It's what they do. If you allow on on your board or ministry staff, don't be shocked when at some point of disagreement they turn around & bite you - and bite hard. It's what pit bulls do.
  • The most common breakdown I see in terms of relational fit happens when we allow superior Bible knowledge or spiritual zeal to trump an obvious & serious lack of social skills or a bristly personality.
  • If the best person available is not the right person for the job, it's far better to have a long-term vacancy than a long-term cancer on the team - even if everyone else is hounding me to fill the position right now.
  • Most pastors aren't very good at interviewing strangers. We tend to like people & want to help them.
  • Character is always more important than giftedness.

Like what you're reading? Pick up a copy from Amazon. (I am not an Amazon associate or a shill for the Buy Larry Osborne A New Car Foundation... I just think the book is that good.)

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