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.