Sticky Teams (reflections for church)

Sticky Teams, Larry Osbornesticky teams
An Adapted Overview & Reflections for SPBC
February 2018
Visioneering Conversation @SPBC






  • Jesus planned/promised the growth of the church but also prayed for unity. He knew the church’s growth would be tempted toward disunity and dysfunction, so He prayed for a supernatural work of God’s Spirit. The unity of the church is crucial to its influence on its culture.
  • 3 components of unity: Doctrinal, Fellowship, Philosophical/Methodical (p.28). Most church conflict is over philosophical (method) or relational priorities rather than theological or ministry goals (p.31).
  • 5 regular roadblocks to unity:
    • meeting in the wrong place: environment
    • ignoring relationships: people vs pawns
    • infrequent meeting: consistency to cover topics and complete tasks
    • constant turnover: building relational trust and ministry momentum
    • leadership group size: having the right voices for the right context
  • How would you rate our church and ministry team’s unity on the three above categories: low / medium / high?
  • What insights do you take to Osborne’s five roadblocks to unity?



  • Teams need leaders not just representatives. Representative-oriented teams often are challenged to agree or act because they seek to keep other people, who are not in the room, happy. Leader-oriented teams communicate together based on where they believe God wants them to go, and charts the course of action for the entire congregation. Leader-oriented teams need the permission of the group to make decisions, even sometimes the wrong decisions, in effort to accomplish the variety of tasks.
    • No “They’s” allowed. Anonymity is dangerous.
  • Teams must know what game their playing or life season: Track (solo), Golf (2-4), Basketball (5-11), Football (11-53). Teams know it’s time to change based on relational overload and increased miscommunication (p.67).
  • What is the balance of representative vs leader oriented teams?
  • How much influence do “they” have in our aim and actions?
  • Based on Osborne’s observations, what game is our team? What about life season?


  • Teams must avoid silo mentality. Silo mentality means people work toward their own ministries with little to no thought how what they do impacts others or the group as a whole. Sometimes the greatest action can be elimination of certain programs or activities in order to strengthen priorities (p.111).
  • Teams must make room at the top for identifying, developing, and deploying the next generation of leaders (p.114).
  • Teams are only successful if they are in alignment with the congregation. Alignment occurs through revisiting the vision, mission, and values of the church.
    • YMCA: Young Men’s Christian Association is now known as just Y
  • Teams understand how to navigate change. The only constant in life and ministry is change. Teams cannot lead around change but through it.
    • And sometimes squeaky wheels need to be ignored. Giving too much attention to them sends message the best way to influence the church is to complain. Instead, put more weight of mission on them and often the wheel will stop squeaking. However, other times squeaky wheels need to be confronted. If a sickness or disease is ignored then death is on the horizon.


  • In what ways are our teams siloed? In what ways do we have synergy?
  • Where have we taken steps to make room at the top for a next season or generation of leaders? Where do we still have work?
  • How well does our church and team leaders know our vision, mission, and values? What can we do to instill more growth in this area?
  • Where do you see negative/positive change occurring in our church?




  • What’s your dream for SPBC?
    • We envision a church in Anne Arundel County and beyond that is
      • United in ministry and urgent in Jesus’s mission.
      • Impacting the spiritually lost through truthfully and lovingly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus with our lips and promoting the gospel with our lives.
      • Impacting the spiritually disconnected through church strengthening and church starting.
      • Impacts the fragmented family through enriching marriages, encouraging parents, and equipping families for relational unity and spiritual mission.
      • Impacts the generationally segmented through intergenerational worship and ministry experiences.
      • Impacts the racially divided through a hospitable church culture and through multi-ethnic ministry and church partnerships.
      • Impacts the disinterested community through tangible acts of love and service in Jesus’s name.


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