Team Leadership (Part 1)

Kenneth Gangel, a church leadership expert, defines Team Leadership as:

the exercise of one’s spiritual gifts under the call of God to serve a certain group of people in achieving the goals God has given them toward the end of glorifying Christ. (Team Leadership in Christian Ministry)

Adjectives I prefer to use for this style of leadership are facilitator, relational, collaborative, communal, collective, participatory and corporate vs. solo or top-down.

The key to team leadership is how we view our relationships with people. Unlike a top-down leader, a team leader sees relationships more than just a means to an end.

Obviously we have seen a major shift within our culture concerning leadership & management theory for the past 15 years, striving to flatten organizational structure–one of the pioneers of this being Peter Drucker pointing out team-based organizations. As leadership went from singular to multiple with Moses leadership style, the same has occurred within our culture. (This has been a natural process with the movement of the modern to postmodern era.)

But when we look at the curent, secular approach to leadership, it still places a high value on independence and self-sufficiency. The leader depends on learned skills, experiences and decision-making ability. These are regarded as the key attributes of leadership. The emphasis is on doing tasks, accomplishing tasks, and achieving goals-with little attention given to relationships. (Yet everything is done within the confines of relationship.)

I believe that we have to incorporate a theology of community within our leadership contexts (even within the secular business world), as a Christian theology on leadership gives us the greatest potential for leadership effectiveness.

What biblical truths are today’s organizations needing to hear and follow when it comes to the relational style of team leadership?


~ by Dave Smith on April 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “Team Leadership (Part 1)”

  1. Two keys that immediately come to mind:

    1. Trust vs. Suspicion. Perhaps the most basic theology behind this is the golden rule. But choosing to believe the best about those in your work-community is a discipline that makes a tremendous difference for the whole organization.

    2. Matthew 18. This principle is practiced almost nowhere. I just violated it the other day with my family ministry director and he called me on it. A parent had called me, and instead of saying, “I can’t talk with you about this until you’ve talked with Adam,” I listened, defended Adam, then later suggested he follow up. But a better response would have had me pushing the parent to deal more directly with Adam. Humans are natural cowards and as leaders we need to extract boldness from them.

  2. […] I agree with David’s assessment of the research, I still feel there is a biblical mandate to ensure collaborative, team building initiatives in the midst of decision making practices and […]

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