LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
September 30, 2004

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. . . .

“The Annual Inoculation Against 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.  That’s why for several years the staff members I’ve served with have heard me bring my annual “Staff Infections Talk.”  A couple of weeks ago we discussed these “infections” at the Hillcrest staff meeting.  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:  God has gifted each of us for service, and 1 Timothy 4:14 reminds us, “Do not neglect your gift.”  If we leave our gift unopened, so to speak, laziness will replace vigor, routine ruts will replace creativity, and the safety of sameness will replace the venture of faith.  Leadership teams are plagued by the infection of incompetence when team members have no interest in improving their performance.  Symptoms include excuses, inattention to standards, and resistance to things that would help them improve.

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 the 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 things like embezzlement or adultery (Immorality).

Pray for your Hillcrest staff, and do a checkup of your own life to make sure that you’re not letting any of these infections hurt the rest of the leadership team!

“Doctor” Tom