Leading the Team-Based Church: How Pastors and Church Staffs Can Grow Together into a Powerful Fellowship of Leaders / Edition 1

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Few responsibilities bedevil church leaders like that of managing a church staff. Faced with staff tension, rivalry, and dramatically high turnover rates, leaders often discover that the reality of day-to-day life in the church office bears little resemblance to their preconceptions regarding how a church should operate. Concerned that fallout from conflict might soon seep into a thriving congregation, church leaders begin searching for solutions that will help them revitalize their staff and ultimately invigorate their congregation. Seeking guidance, they look to themselves, and to God, for answers-answers that can be found embedded in the essence of Christian theology.In Leading the Team-Based Church, George Cladis issues a clarion call for ministry teams to embrace a fresh leadership model that is not based on hierarchy, but on a process of collaboration that mirrors the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He reminds us that today's cultural environment-where authority has basis in trust, innovation reaps rewards, and spirituality takes root in life and work-has matured past the need for the hierarchy of traditional church leadership where the pastor had the final say. Through down-to-earth stories from his own experience and those of clergy in both mainline and evangelical churches, Cladis offers an exciting alternative to the traditional forms of church leadership, enabling pastors, congregational leaders, and staff to breathe new life into their ministries and unleash the full potential of the entire ministry team.Cladis, pastor of a fast-growing mainline congregation, demonstrates how cultural changes affecting all our institutions-not just the church-are making it easier to adopt this new model of leadership. Even the business world, Cladis argues, has created a modern workplace that parallels Trinitarian theology. Is it any secret that the most successful corporations have been built through the creation of dynamic teams that recognize

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Just when it seems that all that can be said has been said on thesubject of 'teams', just when one has tired of the gumming of thelabel 'team' on everything in sight, along comes perhaps the mostsignificant religious book on teams yet published. Cladisjuxtaposes the theological and cultural context for team-basedministry in a model presentation of what a conversation betweenBible, theology, and culture should look like." (Leonard Sweet,dean, The Theological School and vice president, DrewUniversity)

"I really like the way [Cladis] ties the Trinity to teams. Hisunique approach-explaining the role of teams through the eyes ofthe Holy Trinity-offers a new way of understanding how teams canfunction in the church." (Bill Easum, president, 21st CenturyStrategies, Inc., and author, Sacred Cows Make GourmetBurgers)

"Books on leadership tend to run off the road into either the ditchof theory-heavy counsel or the ditch of practice-only ideas. GeorgeCladis avoids both. He stays on the road because he has builtsuccessful church leadership teams and he has studied churchleadership theory. For him, team leadership is the key to afaithful church." (Terry C. Muck, professor of religion, AustinPresbyterian Theological Seminary)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787941192
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series, #11
  • Edition description: 1 EDITION
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 819,649
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

GEORGE CLADIS is senior pastor and team leader of Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut. Previously he pastored Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas during eleven years of dramatic growth when membership doubled and attAndance tripled.

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Table of Contents


Learning the Circle Dance of God.

Building on a Receptive Cultural Environment.


The Covenanting Team.

The Visionary Team.

The Culture-Creating Team.

The Collaborative Team.

The Trusting Team.

The Empowering Team.

The Learning Team.

Epilogue: A Word of Encouragement.

Resource: Two Examples of Staff Covenants.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2002

    You can't do it all by yourself, so stop trying and empower your people

    Have you ever worked in a church, either on staff or on a church committee? Then you know how things often go whenever you try to get something done; normally, not very well. George Cladis recommends that we move away from the corporate-based committee structure to a Bible-based team structure. the author does a good job of building his case for this shift, including discussing how a true ministry team is different from a committee. He then highlights the different areas (he identifies seven) where teams gain their strengths. The whole things ends up sounding like a lot of work, and it probably is. You're talking about a complete cultural overhaul of an organization, which is never easy or simple. However, the benefits that have been seen at churches that have moved to this style of ministry leadership are enough to convince me that his ideas have a lot of merit. If you are involved in church-based ministry, I can heartily recommend this book.

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