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How can I lead in an atmosphere that doesn’t value collaboration?

March 11, 2013

Running errands around Ventura last week, my friend and fellow staff member came along and we got a chance to talk. At some point he said he loves that our current staff team isn’t “territorial” but values and benefits from collaboration. Like him, I am super grateful for our healthy ministry environment.

(BTW, if you want to help your team collaborate beyond the org chart, there’s a GREAT podcast by Andy Stanley entitled “Listen, Learn and Lead”. Click HERE and select the February episode. Here’s a quote to wet your whistle, “Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing helpful to say.”)


However, many churches still struggle with the transition from silos to collaboration. I was recently talking with a friend serving at another church who said his team often displays a territorial attitude as if to say “this is my ministry and your input is unwelcomed”. He said the insecurities are most visible when “outside” department voices make suggestions. This is common because people gravitate toward isolation.


Obviously, this limits ministry creativity, growth, and unity. However, when a team collaborates there is no ceiling on creativity, growth and unity.

My friend asked a great question, “How can I lead in an atmosphere that doesn’t value collaboration?”

As we talked, we decided that the next step for him was to personally collaborate by inviting outside voices on the projects he leads. Then publicly and privately express gratitude for the “outside” contributions. In other words, lead by example by valuing collaboration over credit, team over silos.

I hope my friend and his team are able to make progress. I think they will.

I’m curious. What would you suggest to him?


From → Leadership, Ministry

One Comment
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