Thriving Teams: Promoting Good Leadership, Creativity and Accomplishment

Thriving Teams: Promoting Good Leadership, Creativity and Accomplishment

These resources are recommended by Center for Congregations workshop presenter and leadership development advisor Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright. Fulbright facilitated this workshop in November 2016. For more resources, contact the Center at 866-307-2381 or check out the Congregational Resource Guide at

Brafman, Ori, and Rod A. Beckstrom. The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. New York: Portfolio, 2007.
The Starfish and the Spider incorporates the concept that if a spider’s head is cut off, it dies; but if a starfish’s leg is severed, it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. This concept reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.

“Five Characteristics of Effective Ministry Teams.” Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. Accessed 10/24/16.
This article provides more insights for creating and cultivating an effective ministry team. Additionally, the entire site is a tool for providing leading ideas, expanded resources and strategies for church leaders in all areas of ministry.

Hartwig, Ryan T., and Warren Bird. Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015.
Teams that Thrive offers reflections based on experience, statistical research and numerous interviews, to both argue for the imperative nature of collaborative church leadership and to show how such leadership is best carried out.

Lawson, Kevin E., and Orbelina Eguizabal. “Leading Ministry Teams, Part II: Research on Effective Teams with Implications for Ministry Team Leadership.” In Christian Education Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Fall 2009.
This article reviews the authors’ major findings and continued research over the last 20 years about effective ministry teams in Christian ministry contexts. This research shows common elements that affirmed both Larson and LaFasto's eight characteristics of effective teams and Katzenbach and Smith's description of effective group fundamentals.

Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team outlines the root causes of politics and dysfunction on the teams and the keys to overcoming them. Exploring how making a team functional and cohesive requires levels of courage and discipline that many groups cannot seem to muster.