Leaders on the top teams exhibited more transformation, big-picture, motivational, visionary, relational and biblical leadership qualities but not autocratic, hands-off or laissez-faire qualities; and they were, on average, eight years younger than their counterparts. In addition, team members on top teams reported they were more likely to be able to disagreee with the lead pastor and maintain a relationship, and less likely to feel stress in their relationship with the lead pastor than members on underperforming teams.
In regard to decision making, top teams made more decisions, particularly in terms of finances and strategy; more often dialogued on important matters, used problem-solving techniques and sought God for his leader; and more often took on a churchwidje perspective when making decisions than underperforming teams. In addition, they listened less to what the senior pastor desire, deferred decisions to the lead pastor less often, and spent less time discussing programs and ministry direction than their counterparts on the underperforming teams. Finally, underperforming teams experience greater stress because there was a not enough time to deliberate and make decisions than top teams.
With regard to team meetings, top teams more often worked together continuously or one to two times a day and met more than one hour per week. In addition, they were more likely to distribute agendas that clearly delineated the meeting's tasks (and to do so more Ethan one day in advance) and they were less likely than underperforming teams to have the senior pastor develop the agenda.
In reference to team relationship, top team more often created high-quality relationships among team members and reported that they could disagree with team members and reporters that they could disagree with team members as well as the lead pastor and maintain their relationships, and that they felt less stress regarding personal concerns with team members, compared to underperforming teams. Also, top teams were more likely to engage in some team building and to spend time getting to know team members. Consulting was found to be especially helpful for churches with a longer tenure.
Finally, we reviewed amp average profile of the teams that scored in the top 10 percent, looking for important normative characteristics. To aid you in comparing your team to the best teams, we share some of what we learned from this profile in the chapters that follow.
After we collected data, we visited many leadership teams around the country and conducted dozens of interviews with members of church senior leadership teams, especially the top performing ones. In addition, we conducted multiple focus groups with senior and executive pastors to learn about their teams experiences, challenges and practices.
We draw on this rich set of data to develop the recommendations designed t make your senior leadership team great.
Our data set is rich, and it led to many important findings. Throughout this book we've tried to make sense of all that data and offer you model that provides directions, focus and implementation strategies.