I'm a member of our local church's senior leadership team. We've been re-exploring our group covenant together. It's important to us because we are team led–we don't have the traditional senior pastor role in our org. structure. The process has prompted me to do some fresh research into group covenants, particularly as they relate to leadership groups. I wanted to see what some leading folks in the area of team-based leadership said were the critical components of a group covenant (over and above the basic small group covenant components I mentioned in my last post).
I chose six folks I considered experts in the area of leadership groups and read their stuff (if you're interested in names, these folks were: Pat Lencioni, Ken Blanchard, George Cladis, Dave Ferguson, Dan Reeves, and Bill Thrall). It's interesting that not all these folks advocated the use of a group covenant when it came to forming leadership teams, but they all advocated having values defined, mission buy-in, and behavior expectations in place within the group.
There was not universal agreement about every component to be included in a leadership group covenant/agreement/understanding, but here are the components that were common to each expert's perspective:
- Trust–specifically trust to be vulnerable with each other
My take-away: We can include many things in our leadership group covenants, but we better make sure we have these five in there and have good understanding about them from the entire group. After all, the church's senior leadership group is a model of community life for other groups in the church. If our leadership group is sloppy with developing covenants, I wander if our small groups will be sloppy with their covenants also?