LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Staff Infections”
Hillcrest Church Office
August 28, 2003

LeaderLines is a weekly “e-briefing” providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.

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Here is this week’s LeaderLines. . . .

“Staff Infections”
by Tom Goodman

A friend of mine nearly lost a finger from a wood chopping accident, but not from the axe.  He received only a minor cut from the axe blade, but he developed a “staph” infection in the wound that resulted in serious complications.

A leadership team can develop some “infections” that result in serious complications, too.  Each year in the churches I’ve served, the staff members have heard me bring my annual “Staff Infections” talk.  This Thursday, the paid staff at Hillcrest will hear it for the first time.  These “infections” can affect all of us as leaders, not just the paid members of the team.  Review your life for signs of the following infections:

Incompetence:  Leadership teams are plagued by this infection when team members have no interest in improving their performance.  Symptoms include excuses, inattention to standards, resistance to things that would help them improve (such as training events).

Insubordination:  We call our leadership group a “team,” but have you noticed that the teams we love to watch in sports have captains, coaches, managers, and owners?  To call a group of leaders a “team” doesn’t mean that lines of authority don’t exist.  Teams don’t work well when members ignore these lines of authority.

Immorality:  Our personal failures aren’t as “personal” as we’d wish.  Our failures have a major impact on the rest of the leadership team.

Ingratitude:  This is the worst of all staff infections, and source of the other three.  Think about it.  When I lose my grateful wonder that God has called me to serve his people, I can fall into sloppy habits (Incompetence).  When I lose my thankfulness for the gifts of those I work with, I can quit being a team player (Insubordination).  When I’m no longer grateful for what God chooses to give me, I can turn to embezzlement or adultery (Immorality).

Pray for the Hillcrest staff as we review these “Staff Infections” this week.  And do a checkup of your own life to make sure that you’re not letting any of these infections hurt the rest of your Hillcrest Leadership Team!

“Doctor” Tom

P.S.  If you subscribe to our other e-newsletter, Winning Ways, this week you read my invitation for seekers to join me in “A Search for the Spiritual.”  I thoroughly enjoy getting in a room with “near-believers” who are asking questions of Christianity.  I hope their questions, insights, and friendship make me a better speaker and leader.  If you know someone who would benefit from this course, forward this week’s copy of Winning Ways to them.  And pray for me as I try to form a new class.  For more information about “seeker classes,”  go to www.lifeway.com/pastor_cg020620.asp.