Have you ever been part of a failing church leadership team?  I have.  It is a frustrating experience knowing a great opportunity is being wasted and not taken advantage of.  Apathy set in and you simply have to pray God will do something great in spite of your team.

No one wants to be part of such a leadership team.  Everyone wants to be part of a band of brothers (or sisters) who does something so memorable that it bonds you together for years to come.  So the question begs, how does a church leadership team become great?  How do you create an experience where people show up to each meeting with such a high level of expectancy that you cannot wait to see what God is going to do next?

I found some answers in a very unusual place – north of the border in Toronto, Canada.  Recently, the Toronto Raptors basketball team had a burst of success after trading star player Rudy Gay.  It appears the trade was addition by subtraction and the Raptors are now building a quality team with a positive future awaiting.

As I read this article from Grantland.com detailing the Raptors’s improvement, I gleaned 12 Signs Of Healthy Church Leadership Teams:

  1. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Always Acquiring Talent – People are the only appreciable asset a church has.  Therefore talent has value and great leadership teams continually accumulate talent.  I will also give a tip to the business, non-profit and athletic community – Franchise players are a scarce resource and you should pay whatever price is necessary to secure them.
  2. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Avoid Toxic Personalities – Nothing erodes a great leadership team worse than poor chemistry.
  3. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Create Opportunity From Others – In addition to removing toxic personalities, you must remove people who negate opportunity for others and place lids on them.  Great churches have leaders who create opportunity for others.  They share the spotlight.
  4. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Expand The Church’s Leadership Base – The more leaders you have the more effective your church will be.  The Raptors learned that trading Rudy Gay allowed the team to add four quality players and upgrade each of those positions.  Do the math – 4 Quality Positions > 1 Quality Position.
  5. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Always Making Positive Things Happen – Raptors small forward DeMar Derozan said, “You can sink and drown, or you can float.”  Great church leadership teams keep floating downstream.
  6. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Unselfish – As a leader, are you always pointing to the contributions others are bringing?  DeRozan adds, “We don’t care who scores, or who shoots the ball.”
  7. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Make Hard Decisions – DeRozan continues, “Masai [Ujiri, the team’s GM] made the best decision for us to win. You hate to see a close friend (Gay) go, but he made a good decision. It’s paying off now.”
  8. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Stay With What Works – Healthy teams do not change for change sake.  Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, the Raps head coach, stress they continued with the same offense after the Gay trade. He says they run “all the same sets.”
  9. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Unified – Trust is the glue to any healthy church leadership team.  Casey says, “Guys are playing together. Everyone is buying in.”
  10. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Have Stability – Continual turnover and leaders leaving the church is a sign of instability.  DeRozan has established himself as a long-term fixture the Raptors can build around.
  11. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Focus On Their Individual Jobs – One of the best thing leaders can do is their job and help others do their job.  Casey says, “They (management)  have to think about the big picture. What I have to do is coach the guys we do have, and coach the heck out of them.”
  12. Healthy Church Leadership Teams Know What Success Looks Like And Then Celebrate – One of the toughest things for church leadership teams to do is properly define success and then celebrate appropriately.  Success for the Raptors would winning 45-50  games each season, have an occasional deep playoff run with high attendance and revenue figures.  Not all teams can win the championship each year.


  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Committed To The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Communicate The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Pray Earnestly About The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Embody The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams See Themselves In The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Say “No” To Things Which Do Not Further The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Hold The Staff And Others Accountable To The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Bleed The Mission And Vision
  • Healthy Church Leadership Teams Are Kept Awake At Night Because Of The Mission And Vision


If you want to become healthier as a church  leadership team, click here or on the image to the left to sign up for a FREE webinar on February 4th on leading a Stress Free Church.  This webinar will make you a better leader.

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