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Effective leadership is essential for specialized ministries, churches, or businesses. And having a leadership team is critical if they adhere to foundational responsibilities.

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

Last time I offered three of seven foundational responsibilities your Leadership Team should concentrate on that may best guide you. This edition will cover four more responsibilities.

Use this list, evaluate what you do, and then fine-tune it to serve your team effectively.

7 Foundational Responsibilities of your Lead Team:

Let’s review

1. Sensing the Leading of the Lord

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

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.

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.

Let’s continue

4. Management of Resources

The Leadership Team is responsible for the vision, strategic plan, and conformance to regulatory standards and best practices while managing the resources accordingly.

I learned the following from the CFO at 12-Stone Church, Norwood Davis.

What I can share with you is the importance of how you handle financial resources.

The Lord has put you in trust with the wise management of financial resources given through faithful people. Don’t take this lightly; every dollar does matter. Our Make It Clear Ministries team treats each dollar donated as if an elderly person on Social Security gives to the ministry.

That doesn’t mean you should lead like gloomy scrooges, think with a poor mindset, or lack charity. It simply means being wise managers with the Lord’s money.

Strategic questions:

    • Are you regularly teaching biblical principles of generosity and giving?
    • Do you have in place sound financial systems with accountability?
    • Are you and your team doing everything you can to use every dollar wisely?

5. Culture and Effectiveness of Staff

The Leadership Team is responsible for the systems that ensure systems that appropriately cultivate and observe staff culture, health, and performance.

Let me suggest a five-point outline I picked up from Dan Reiland that will serve you as a guide on how to think about staffing. (NOTE: Even if your staff is smaller, don’t ignore this.)

    1. Culture
    2. Selection
    3. Development
    4. Teamwork
    5. Performance

Your Leadership Team may own more of this detail if your ministry and staff are smaller unless you may have other leaders on the team to help you with much of this. Either way, it’s essential to persistently think through all five areas to know you are developing and cultivating a healthy and productive staff.

Strategic questions:

    • How healthy is staff culture? How do you know?
    • How are you selecting the best possible staff?
    • How are you caring for and developing your team?
    • How well is your team functioning together?
    • Do you find your team creating the outcomes for which you hoped?

6. Problem-Solving

The Leadership Team is responsible for solving problems and, in optimum circumstances, being prepared for them before they happen and cause more significant issues and consequences.

It’s not the Leadership Team’s responsibility to solve all the problems, but it is their job to solve the significant ones.

Unfortunately, some Senior Leadership Teams avoid the more complex problems by dumping them on staff who aren’t equipped to deal with them or won’t make the tough choices.

What problems need to be solved that only the Leadership Team can solve? Those issues should always be an agenda item for your team.

Which are real problems to be solved, and which might cause tensions to manage?

Strategic questions:

    • List the problems facing you now that only you should and can solve.
    • List the issues critical to the mission that might hinder the vision and momentum.
    • What timeline is in place when solutions are required?

7. Innovation and Improvement

The Leadership Team is responsible for nurturing and embracing new approaches and improving existing systems and processes for your ministries or business can thrive.

Much like solving problems and perhaps more, all improvement and innovation should not come from the Leadership Team.

You are not receiving all the best viewpoints or ideas if they only come from your Leadership Team.

The first role of the Leadership Team regarding improvement and innovation is to foster an environment that is favorable to and allows for change.

The second is ensuring the improvement and innovation agree with the vision and mission.

And finally, to be sure that improvement and innovation are better, not merely different.

Strategic questions:

    • Is your ministry and staff team open to change?
    • List any ministries or departments that need improvement.
    • List the top three areas that need improvement and innovation in your church, ministry, or business.

These are seven responsibilities for your Leadership Team. I suggest you begin implementing them at your next meeting. You might select one each time you meet until you build all of them into the culture of your Leadership Team. Let me know how these foundational responsibilities are working for you and your 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.