Tag Archives: church leadership

The 2 Major Challenges of Team-Based Leadership

There are 2 major challenges that exist in team-based leadership:

  1. Individual problems in creativity
  2. Collaborative creative problems

The very same problems that exist for a person when asked to be creative, exist when a team is asked to work in collaboration. The core of collaboration is creativity. There is risk in creativity–these risks are magnified when working with others who have the potential to validate or invalidate a creative idea. In subsequent blog posts, I will expound on the two problems of team-based collaboration and offer solutions for them.


does this sound like any of your meetings?

Think of this:

You are in a meeting. It is the first of the year and your church would like to make some goals and action points for the upcoming year.

At first you all sit there–awkwardly. Then the well-rehearsed people (you know, the ones who have called the meeting, thought about it for weeks, and hope everyone will agree with them) chime in. Everyone else is so taken aback and they feel like their ideas aren’t thought through enough to contribute. No one says anything for a few more minutes.

Then the one known as big mouth opens up. Silently people groan. “If no one will talk,” he says, “then I’ve got a few things….” He proceeds to name everything wrong with the church. People begin to agree, because they are, after all things that are wrong with the church. A lively conversation occurs—-for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, some wise one chimes in and says, “okay, now what are we going to do about it?” No one can agree or no one wants to take the effort to do the things suggested. Some people call the ideas stupid, or they won’t participate when their ideas are shot down.

Finally, you decide to do a car wash–after all your church will “reach unchurched people for Christ,” its evangelism, its mission, the finance chair loves it, the SPRC chair puts the youth director in charge, and the UMW/UMM will provide pies and fried chicken. There. 3 hours later, your church is doing a pie and chicken car wash in the church parking lot. The next 3 hours is dedicated to delegating who will bring the hose, soap, and sponges followed by an argument on whether to use Armorall spray or Armorall wipes (or to do interiors at all…). And who will donate the money for the excess water use for that month?

Does that sound like any meeting you have ever been in with the church, work, school, or otherwise?

Stay tuned for Creative Collaboration as Problem Solving for Church Leadership–we may have some solutions.

(see this post, Creative Collaboration as Church Leadership, to get an idea about where we are going here)

Creative Collaboration as Church Leadership

I am writing a book (and possibly expanding it into a research based study) on creative collaboration as church leadership. Here is an excerpt:

Art as communal expression–an expression of who we are.  This expression becomes evident as we collaborate. One impetus for a creative expression (in the communal sense) comes when a problem (something to be solved or explored) enters the picture. This is not a problem with a simple solution, but one with an unknown solution. This problem is a nexus of a million possible futures. The way a community solves this problem identifies who they are as a community and it ultimately affects their future direction. As beings created in God’s image, we are designed to create–to care for creation, but built with an innate desire to create. Whether that manifests itself in logic, writing, reading (what you choose to read), painting, music, dance, drama, electronics, automobiles, government. We create. We create new pathways, new bridges to the desired outcome–new ways to unknot the problem. Even in the small acts of problem solving, we are often creating. Even in problem solving, the complex matrix of decisions we make to unknot the problem have, in effect, created a new pathway.

As beings created in God’s image, we are also communal beings. In the beginning “we” created the earth. God was present with his spirit, present with the plurality–more exactly, with the complete fullness of who He is. God created man and saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created a community for him. God made a covenant with Abraham, not to make Abraham great, but to create a communal greatness from him. The fullness of God is seen in each of us, but magnified in the entirety of the creation. Therefore, to act as a community is to magnify God and to work towards revealing His kingdom.

A creative act is in our nature. A communal act is in our nature.

An individual act is not possible in community. Therefore every thing that must be done in community must be creative–you must take into account the being of the communion–this new being: who is this?

What do you think? Have I missed anything?

c. Jim Morrow