The 5 P’s of Making Progress Together

This week at Eastern Hills we’ve been gearing up for an exciting year of ministry and the planning that comes with it.  In church life, summer time is like your training for the rest of the year.  You’re executing a plan you’ve already made and working on one for the next year and beyond.  It is fun and inspiring to dream together about how we pray God will use to bring hope to a community, a city and a world that so desperately needs it.

Larry Osborne is a Senior Pastor at North Coast Church in California.  He is ‘A’ Senior Pastor because he shifted to a team based approach of leadership where he doesn’t have to have all the answers and it has unleashed North Coast to have a far greater impact that it would have otherwise experienced.

I was reminded this week of three p’s he often shares as things he had to let go of in his personal journey of team based progress.  I was struck by how those are things we all must relinquish if we are going to make the transition from success defined by me to success shaped by ‘we.’


Power is perhaps the most enticing element of leadership that few want to release.  Often flexed in the realm of authority we like to be in charge and hold the ‘trump’ card in conversations and decision making.  If we want to move forward as teams we have to be willing to share power and give some of ours up for bigger goals that can only be achieved when we pool our God-given power together.


Privilege is one of those words that we don’t (I don’t) often associate with leadership but it’s because it’s subtle.  We don’t think we’re different or that there are different rules but when we are challenged to go somewhere new or do something differently for the sake of progress we realize that we have had personal freedom we’re being asked to restrict.  It is difficult and requires all of us to be aware of where we are ‘different’ in our privilege and limit them as much as possible.


Prestige is Osborne’s third rail of leadership transition about our status.  As leaders we get so quickly deceived into thinking that our status as leaders is what defines us.  It becomes more core to who we are than anything else and the impact allowing that status to go to our head and heart is toxic.  Especially when we are trying to make progress together in teams there is no place for this kind of status-wielding leadership.  Team members sniff this out a mile away and are not willing to lay down the power, privilege and prestige in their life if there is a leader who isn’t modeling it first.


One of the members on our leadership team, Steve Finkill, shared a fourth ‘P’ that I thought was critical for team success.  We have to be willing to give up our individual plans for the sake of a bigger dream.  My plan reflects my priorities but our key priorities need to be the key priorities for me personally as well – even if that requires change.  It doesn’t mean that my entire plan is gone but for a team to make progress the plans need to work together, which often requires change.


Kendal Hommes, another one of our leadership team felt like a 5th p was something we have to be ready to experience in this kind of team based approach – pain.  It hurts to lose complete autonomy where we get to set goals and direction by ourselves.  But the long term value of team growth is so much greater than the personal gain of doing it all my own way.

I’m so thankful for the team that God has allowed me to be a part of and for the path that God has put before us.  By humbling myself and our team doing the same I believe that we will experience some incredible things together. I’m glad that I don’t have to be ‘the’ guy (that’s Jesus) and I just get to be ‘a’ guy He’s created with a purpose of bringing Him glory because the Gospel is for Everyone.

One response to “The 5 P’s of Making Progress Together”

  1. I am so glad you sent this message out – it is so pertinent to not only the business world, where I spend so much time, but in families as well! I pray that leaders, who read this,  will look at the words, check themselves, listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance and make any necessary changes. I see at work the effect of leaders who violate much of what you stated, yet there are leaders such as Dominic Custodio (who I have the pleasure of working with) who embody these elements that create a team that is truly together is greater than anything they could do individually! I received an important message that I want to share with you – I had the privilege of facilitating the women’s Rooted group this spring. During the last meeting, I asked what makes you feel connected at Eastern Hills and what brings you back….several of the ladies stated that your preaching not only brings them back, but that the messages you deliver (from “The Guy”) are so relevant to their lives that they kept coming back to hear more. I thought you might appreciate that!   I also wanted to express how much I am enjoying the changes (i.e., different communication methods) that you are bringing to the church and that you didn’t come in and make drastic changes over night. I truly believe God is working through you to help the Eastern Hills community to grow in their walk with our Lord and the impact that walk will have on others!   I look forward to continuing to be obedient to God in how I can serve others at Eastern Hills – I so enjoyed my Rooted time.   Jackie Bower ( I lived in Seattle and was a member of Meadowbrook (Scot Brewer), but went to your church for conferences (i.e., Dr Cloud/Dr Townsend)

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