Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership

by Ryan T. Hartwig , Warren Bird. InterVarsity Press, 2015.

This case for collaborative team leadership is targeted to Christian team leaders and members, church planters and revitalizers, consultants and coaches. Discussion questions, often biblically based, and two-minute exercises make this how-to book useful for group study. The five disciplines are: (1) Focus on Purpose, (2) Leverage Differences in Team Membership, (3) Rely on Inspiration More than Control to Lead, (4) Intentionally Structure Decision Making, and (5) Build a Culture of Continuous Collaboration. For example, a “clear, compelling, challenging, calling-oriented, [and] consistently held” purpose is critical for accomplishing meaningful work. Purpose is the “invisible leader of your team” (p. 97). Hartwig is a professor of communication. Bird, the research director for Leadership Network, has extensive experience on senior leadership teams. A 2012-2013 study of 1,026 senior leadership team members at 253 churches is foundational to the book’s practical wisdom.