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If your Leadership Team tries to give attention to everything, they won’t effectively succeed at anything. 

It’s healthy that your Leadership Team has the freedom to talk about anything, to be truthful, and to discuss with authenticity as it happens, but what are the critical areas on which you should focus? 

We use the term Senior Leadership Team in our ministry.  However they are called, and whether they are paid or include volunteers, what should be on the agenda they create?

The “going around the table and giving updates” strategy is not typically highly effective.

While it is sometimes critical to communicate updates, that is not always helpful.  However, you will often have more substantial results when the entire team works on an issue together.

Even if your Leadership Team resolves a few difficulties with an open agenda, which is a good thing, perhaps others could have resolved those issues.  It would allow you to give more forward-focused thinking time.

What are the primary topics your Leadership Team is responsible for addressing?  What issues should be given the most attention? 

Of course, crises will make you adjust to issues. 

Military leaders focus on different things in wartime versus peacetime.  Life is no longer “business as usual” for them; typically, they must make more decisions faster. 

But without a boundary or yardstick of your lanes, it’s challenging to get the essential items done and make significant progress. 

Further, when the Leadership Team isn’t confident about what to give attention to, the rest of the team won’t be clear on their focus either. 

Every specialized ministry, church, or business is unique.  However, let me offer seven foundational responsibilities your Leadership Team should concentrate on that may best guide you.  

Use this list of the first three of seven foundational responsibilities of your leadership team, evaluate what you do, and then fine-tune it to serve your team effectively.

 7 Foundational Responsibilities of your Lead Team:

 1. Sensing the Leading of the Lord 

The Leadership Team is responsible for discerning the heart and voice of God as they relate to the best interest of its ministries, staff, and faith-family.  The same goes for specialized ministries and businesses.

Strategically thinking is essential, but spiritually discerning God’s heart and voice must always come before strategic planning. 

What is God saying to your ministry president, executive director, or team’s senior leader?  Also important is what God says to each person on the team.

Most important is how Scripture influences your ministry or business course and choices. 

Equally important is prayer as the indicator and institution for your ministry’s current initiatives and future dreams.

Strategic questions:

    • Does your team allow the Holy Spirit to interfere in your process and modify or even discontinue your plans? 
    • How do you discern when it’s your idea or the mind of the Lord? 
    • Does your team have a history or pattern of decelerating to discern what God wants? 


2. Vision-Thinking, Strategic Planning, and Vision-Casting 

The Leadership Team is responsible for developing, positioning resources, communicating, and examining progress toward the vision and strategic plan. 

This is heavy lifting and an arduous responsibility of the team. 

Vision-thinking and even vision-casting are often exciting.  It’s motivating, and it’s great to dream!  But the instant you get serious about effective strategic planning, the air at the table gets cold. 

The moment you move from discerning the vision to figuring out how to make the dream a reality, your team will face the actual load and experience of leadership.

Executing the strategy is the core of leadership.

What matters are after-effects and outcomes.  That’s why you’re in the room and at the table.

Strategic questions: 

    • Are you remaining steadfast about the direction God wants for your ministry? 
    • Are you constantly reviewing the strategy and holding yourself accountable for results?
    • Are you nurturing joy in the process? 

3. Culture and Values for the Church, Specialized Ministry, or Business

The Leadership Team is responsible for confirming appropriate processes are in place to foster and monitor ministry culture, values, and spiritual health. 

Separating your ministry’s culture, values, and spiritual health is impossible.

It’s challenging to increase spiritual health if the culture is toxic, inward-focused, or divisive,

Every ministry has a culture, just like your staff’s culture (the two are very similar).

The culture of your ministry is not what you write on the wall; it’s the attitudes you express, the beliefs you demonstrate, and how you live your lives.

The culture of your ministry or business will reveal your values and determine the probability of its spiritual health. 

Strategic questions:

    • In what way would you describe the culture of your ministry or business? Is it what you want? 
    • In what ways are your ministry in agreement with your values?
    • In what ways would you say the spiritual health of your ministry or business is vibrant and growing? 

Next, we will learn four more foundational responsibilities of your Leadership Team!


Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.