Are you looking to build an enduring church? Are you looking for a level of ministry success which can be sustained for a decade? Are you looking to build something of lasting value? Of course you do.
The Baltimore Ravens are a organization pastors and church leaders can learn much from. I was reading the February 11th edition of Sports Illustrated and captured some key learnings from last season’s Super Bowl victory which can help church leaders.
- Great Churches Are Strong At Four Levels – If you look at every great sports organization they are strong in four areas – Owner to General Manager to Head Coach to Quarterback (coach on the field). Because of their strength in these four areas, Baltimore will be competitive for the next decade. Churches have the strongest owner ever – Jesus. Those which also have a strong pastor, staff, and lay leadership are positioned for a healthy future.
- Great Churches Prepare Well – Preparation is an excellence issue. Derek Jeter says, “It’s how you practice, how you run out ground balls, hard every time. You lead by example.”
- Great Churches Are Full Of Leaders – Are you developing a leadership culture in your church? When general manager Ozzie Newsome wanted the Ravens to go to the next level he gave a single directive to his scouts prior to the 2008 NFL Draft – “Find us a quarterback.”
- Great Churches Surround Their Leaders With Talent – Are you giving your pastors, staff, and leaders what they need to be successful? In addition to drafting quarterback Joe Flacco with the 18th pick in the 2008 draft, they also drafted star running back Ray Rice in the 2nd round with the 55th pick.
- Great Churches Have Stability – Do you constantly have staff turnover? Since 2008, Flacco has played more games 102 than any league quarterback.
- Great Churches Recognize Opportunity – There is a difference between sensing opportunity and seizing it. Flacco says, “When you’re playing quarterback you just make the play that’s there.”
- Great Churches Takes Risks – As a leader, this is my weakest area. For Flacco though it is a strength. His dad points out, “He’s not afraid to take chances. Never has been. You gotta play to win.”
- Great Churches Have A Bright Future – The team the Ravens defeated in the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers, have a bright future as well with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback. Left tackle Joe Staley says, “Colin was cool the entire game. The same he’s been the entire season. Our future is very bright with him.”
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of practices because any list would also include prayer, strong preaching, effective stewardship, etc… These are just lessons from the article.
What other practices would you include?
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