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Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page Paperback – April 11, 2010

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Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page + Sticky Church (Leadership Network Innovation Series) + Deep and   Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 3.12.2010 edition (April 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310324645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310324645
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Larry Osborne's profound, yet simple ideas will inspire any leader to proactively implement lasting developmental changes. You'll find his practical and transparent insights will motivate your team to stick together to advance the cause of Christ. --Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.TV, Edmond, OK

Lots of people talk about community; few help us figure out that how. Larry Osborne is one of the few. --John Ortberg, Pastor and Author, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, CA

Larry Osborne is a pastor I trust to share thoughtful insights into church leadership. With Sticky Teams, he draws from years of local church leadership to help pastors with all levels of experience understand what moves their teams forward and what holds them back. Sticky Teams is one of those books you will read more than once. It is wise and practical, just like its author. --Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research

In Sticky Teams, you'll find the kind of no-nonsense, in-the-trenches, leadership wisdom that only Larry Osborne delivers: alternative, seasoned advice and leadership principles that transcend church size and denominations. --Tony Morgan, author of Killing Cockroaches: and Other Scattered Musings on Leadership

Whenever I'm around Larry Osborne, I am infused with hope and encouragement. His innovative thinking combines with his wealth of experience in building the Kingdom to make him one of the great voices in the Church today. Sticky Teams is full of great lessons that will help any church leader build teams that serve together better. --Dino Rizzo, Pastor, Healing Place Church and Co-Founder Association of Related Churches


“A must-read for any leader who cares about unity. The last words of Jesus’ prayer have to be our first priority as church leaders. The truth is, we don’t think we need to know how to guard unity in our teams until we don’t have unity in our closest relationships. I know firsthand what disunity feels like. In our fast-growing (Baby Huey, thanks Larry) church, we didn’t guard what was most important. Thanks to Larry’s friendship and wisdom, I got to live this book before I read it. Any leader who cares about the local church must make this book and its principles a high priority. Unity will cost you, but not having it will cost you so much more. Thank you, Larry, for believing in what Jesus died for. Sticky teams are high priority for Living Hope! A team that doesn’t stick together won’t stay together. ONLY GOD!” -- John Bishop

More About the Author

Larry Osborne is one of the senior and teaching pastors at North Coast Church in Vista, California. Under his leadership, weekend attendance has grown from 128 to over 10,000. Recognized nationally as one of the 10 Most Influential Churches in America and one of the most innovative, North Coast Church pioneered the use of video worship venues and is one of the leaders in the multi-site movement with more than 31 local worship options each weekend-each one targeted at a different missional demographic. More than 90 percent of North Coast's average weekend attendance participates in weekly sermon-based small groups, a concept that is spreading across the nation as an alternative to traditional small group methodologies. Osborne's books include Innovation's Dirty Little Secret, Accidental Pharisees, Sticky Teams, Sticky Church, Mission Creep, The Unity Factor, A Contrarian's Guide to Spirituality and 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe.

Customer Reviews

Here is some wisdom from the book.
Matthew Morine
Sticky Teams is the most practical and helpful book I've ever read on building healthy church leadership teams.
Todd Hudnall
I highly recommend this book for pastors and other church leaders, especially elders.
David W. Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
There is something dysfunctional about most church boards, councils or governing committees, and to those trapped in the current systems it often seems that not much can be done about it. But in this book Larry Osborne offers a number of great insights into how a church board or a church staff can be coalesced into a great team, with the individual members working in unity for common goals rather than fighting each other for scarce resources.

The author defines unity in the context of a church leadership team as including doctrinal unity, respect and friendship, and philosophical unity. This means that someone who is a good Christian but who does not subscribe to your philosophy of ministry will not be a good candidate for your board. It also means that you need to apply effort and resources into training and growing your leadership team.

The ideas presented in the book include ways of reducing board conflict, recognizing changing team dynamics as a team grows, the need to play more to your strengths than to your weaknesses, the importance of clarifying the roles of pastor, staff and board, making room at the top for young leaders, providing adequate training to the board, how to get board, staff and congregational alignment, handling change, talking about money and salaries, and how to act when things go wrong.

This is probably the best book on church leadership team management that I have read. While acknowledging that there is no single right way to run a church, it provides plenty of creative ideas for overcoming many different intractable-seeming obstacles, and the discussion questions at the end make it suitable for church leadership teams to work their way through.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Frisbie on May 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dr. Larry Osborne serves as lead pastor of a growing California congregation -- over 9,300 in attendance this Easter. In addition he oversees a staff of some two dozen pastors and around two hundred church employees. When he opines about a subject such as "Sticky Teams" Osborne is writing from a wealth of personal experience and astute observation.

If you've read any of his other books, you already know his 'voice' as a writer --- approachable, understandable, clear. Although well educated and highly intelligent, Osborne avoids the traps and pitfalls of a merely academic mindset. He wants to know what works in the trenches --- and conversely, what isn't helpful in actual practice.

Always the contrarian, Osborne may surprise some with his seeming disregard for carping critics and crying complainers. Yet in logical and concise fashion, he explains why a community of leaders should not be held hostage to the whims of those few who may disagree.

Year after year Dr. Osborne is one of the most popular, most requested, and most sought-after speakers for conferences, workshops and seminars where leaders meet to learn and grow. There's a reason Osborne enjoys such sustained popularity: He's been busy learning what works, and he's a gifted explainer of how and why the same principles could help you succeed in building a unified team.

Dr. David Frisbie
The Center for Marriage & Family Studies
Author of "The Soul-Mate Marriage" and 9 other books
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Steele on March 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne is a leadership book with an emphasis on team-building. The author maintains, "Sticky teams stick together." And sticking together in difficult times is an indicator of health.

Osborne divides Sticky Teams into three parts, each designed to promote long-term unity and health in local church, which a special emphasis placed on the elder council, staff, and congregation.

Osborne stresses the three pillars of unity which includes doctrinal unity, respect and friendship, and philosophical unity.

He alerts the reader to transition points when growth takes place within a church and recommends different approaches (or "changing the game") for different contexts.

PART ONE: Landmines and Roadblocks

The author sets his sights on five roadblocks to unity: 1) meeting in the wrong place, 2) ignoring relationships, 3) not meeting often enough, 4) constant turnover, and 5) too many members.

Principles of protecting the unity of an elder council and church staff are discussed, what the author refers to as "guarding the gate." Osborne insists on maintaining high standards at the leadership level. Spiritual maturity is central. Leaders must be on the same philosophical page - they must agree on the overall direction of the church. Finally, leaders must work as a team relationally. There must be a relational match.

Osborne spends time focusing on clarification of roles at the board and staff level. "Healthy teams have great teamwork," he writes. "There's little role confusion, and everyone knows what the ultimate goal is."

PART TWO: Equipped for Ministry

Part two develops the importance of ministry alignment, mission, values, and methods.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Aiken on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the things I chose to do a few years back was broaden my reading from just theological works to those involving business, leadership, church ministry, history, and an occasional fictional work. I kicked off 2012 with a casually paced read through this book. I intentionally wanted to take the read I could absorb the details and apply them along the way.
Osborne gives an amazingly unfiltered treatment of the subject of pastoral or ministerial leadership. Workings within the confines of the corporate structure of a business are far more predictable than those of the church. Business principles can INFORM a person on how to lead effectively, but they do not apply perfectly.
Everything in the book discusses the leader's responsibility to develop a team that lasts. This often involves inheriting a team and transforming it. The principles...and the direct instructions that Osborne shares, specifically address the lessons he learned in transforming a team.
Some of the crossovers from this book to the traditional business structure relate to how a leader directs his executive team in a company. Whether working with a Board of Directors or motivating teams of senior managers, the principles are applicable.
The two biggest takeaways for me in the book relates to unity of the team and expectations of the team. First, "Unity that insists on uniformity is not unity at all" (p.29). A healthy team environment cultivates conflict to work through situations and develop the best outcomes. Unity is a commitment to the values and the goals of the organization that provide the framework and impetus that guide the conflict to excellence. Second is the leader's willingness to PUSH his team on to excellence.
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