The popular idea of leadership presents the picture of a person that is courageous and omni-competent. The leader has no weaknesses and is able to take a group of people on their back and go on to victory. However, both experience and reason undermine such an idea of leadership. There is no leader who is competent in all areas, so to place such a responsibility on one individual is a disservice to both the leader and the mission. With this in mind, we have concluded that teams of leaders (e.g. elder team, teaching team, staff teams, ambassador teams) will maximize our individual strengths, manage our individual weaknesses, and avoid the mistake of building the mission around one man.
First, we believe that a team of elders is the sole biblical presumption in matters of church governance. Consequently, all macro-leadership will be carried out by a team of biblically astute, integritous elders. Second, while we concede that in matters of micro-leadership the Bible does not necessarily present operating in teams as an imperative, we hold that it is a definite liberty as it was modeled by men like Moses (Ex. 18:13-27) and Paul (Acts 13:1). We have concluded that team leadership is a wise choice as it:
- Avoids the celebrity leader tendency
- Encourages authentic community, accountability, and edification
- Minimizes the ministry burden on each church leader by spreading it out among teammates
- Combines complimenting strengths and manages weaknesses
- Provides a pool of ideas from which wise decisions can be drawn
We concede that leading in this manner can at times be slower and more complex. But we believe the benefits far outweigh the complexities which can be overcome if we model patience, persevering prayer, wisdom, self-control, humility, trust, and genuine respect for the gifts of others in the body of Christ.
Our approach to this will mobilize teams in three different categories:
- First, the mission will be guarded by a team of elders. The elder team is responsible for vision casting and macro-level leadership decisions. While we do have a directional leader or “captain” of the elder team, The Embassy does not have a “Senior Pastor.” As the directional leader, Brandon Washington is captain of this team; the first among equals (primus inter pares). But we want to be very clear on the fact that he is NOT the leader of the church; the elder team leads the church.
- Second, daily missional management will be guided by our staff teams. These teams address the operational responsibilities of the mission and assist in mobilizing the missional communities.
- Third, our Missional Communities are gifted by our ambassador teams. They will be the front line when it come to engaging one another and the city around us. They are central to mission, community, and mobilization.
We hope to be the 1st Corinthians 12 church, recognizing that we are designed to be a diverse and complimentary body of believers. We believe that a team model will best fulfill this objective.
Striving toward Kingdom Community and Discipleship,