LEAD Small Color TransparentBuilding a Congregational LEAD Team to Create a Movement

Click here for a print-ready version of this article including a list of the key roles.

Teams are Key

Gathering a team is one of the most important parts of any process. Team members serve as guides, but even more importantly, are called to embody the spirit of discernment, discovery, and leadership that creates a movement of people within the congregation for larger transformation.

We can articulate three keys to making transformation happen based on the evidence from current social science research about what it takes to fuel a leadership movement:

  1. A Shared Purpose

    At the center of all movement-making strategies is a shared purpose. This is the glue that keeps the community together. Revisiting, clarifying, defining, and committing to a shared purpose is both art and science. A group of people coalesces around a shared purpose opting into a vision that God may already be revealing and this shared purpose can help accelerate the process.

    A shared purpose should:

    – Provide a vision for impact beyond the congregation
    – Include words or phrases supporters would wear on a t-shirt
    – Be timeless in its value to the mission

  2. Clear Roles (for a  list of roles, click here)

    Seven key roles are always at work in successful movements. These extend beyond titles or jobs; they represent the people we hope to become. They are key to linking the overall system of congregational council, staff, and members together. These connections are the life-blood for sustaining energy and focus across the whole system and are indispensable for moving forward.
    Intentionally seeking out people with the identified gifts helps the team mobilize the congregation and avoid becoming an unintended sub-committee of the congregation or synod. The team is crucial in building momentum.

    Competencies for all team members include:

    – Spiritual Maturity—active in faith practices (worship, giving, serving, praying, etc.)
    – Spiritual openness—capacity to reflect and notice God moving in their own life
    – Interpersonal Skills—capacity to lead others, spirit of optimism, engage people positively
    – Innovation—ability to do big-picture thinking, imagine new ministries, and cast vision
    – Healthy Boundaries—no hidden agendas, understand the process, work well with others
    – Engenders Trust—track record is respected, keep commitments, outward focus
    – Work Ethic—get things done, follow through on plans

    The LEAD Team should include people who represent the diversity of the congregation including ethnicity, gender, age, and possibly even place of residence. It is helpful to have people on the team who are well connected with the congregation’s neighborhood.

  3. Sustained Rewards

    For people of faith, helpful intrinsic rewards are consistent with shared values expressed in Jesus’s life. They grow out of deep gratitude for God’s endless love and forgiveness. There is a conscious awareness that the Holy Spirit is working in the world and that we are invited into this work as partners.

    Acting out of confidence in this belief, leaders welcome, share, advocate, serve, and love.

    — ‘…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ –Mark 12:30-31

    *Adapted from The Practice Papers Edition1: Movement Making