At Saddleback we’ve shared leadership from the beginning. While it’s not always been easy, it’s absolutely been worth it. This insightful book, with its strong research, real-life stories and practical how-to’s, makes it easier for you to build a strong, thriving senior leadership team.
– Rick Warren | Author & Pastor of Saddleback Church
Two Minute Tips
Over 25 quick exercises you can do with your team to help your team thrive.
Team Discussion Questions
Walk through the book with your team using the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Each chapter concludes with insights from 1 of 13 highly-respected leaders in the church today.
Strong Church Research Foundation
Churches were studied according to industry-standard research protocol and extensive statistical analysis.
One full chapter devoted to exploring Biblical foundations of shared leadership.
Dozens of examples from churches of all shapes and sizes across the United States.
Total Survey Respondents
Observation and Interview Hours
Churches We Hope to Help
As someone passionate about teams, I strongly recommend Teams That Thrive. It draws out best practices and principles from hundreds of leadership teams, pulls together top marketplace research, and then illustrates them with stories from churches at every level. I encourage you not to simply read it yourself, but to read it and work through it with your team. It will make you better. It will help you thrive.Larry Osborne
At Saddleback we’ve shared leadership from the beginning. While it’s not always been easy, it’s absolutely been worth it. This insightful book,with its strong research, real-life stories and practical how-to’s, makes it easier for you to build a strong, thriving senior leadership team.Rick Warren
This practical book is full of tips and tools that church leadership teams can use to become better and to increase in impact. Teams That Thrive will be a great help to my own team as we help church leadership teams get unstuck.Tony Morgan
I wish I had read this book at the beginning of my ministry career! Teams That Thrive is an incredible resource to help you and your team rethink how you lead. Packed with outstanding research, helpful tips, practical wisdom and thoughts from expert commentators, this book is the how-to resource you need to move your team (and your church) from simply surviving to thriving.Jenni Catron
Serious leaders are serious about their teams because something extraordinary happens when a team thrives, something much greater than the sum of its parts. Teams That Thrive is an unusual blend of spirit and practice. It is fresh, deep and eminently helpful!Nancy Ortberg
Church leaders talk big about the priesthood of all believers, but too many don’t know how to live that out on the leadership team level. This excellent book shows how.
“We know that we’re supposed to like working in teams, but how many of us actually get excited when we hear the word teamwork? It isn’t that we hate working with others, it’s just that more often than not teams seem to make things harder, not easier. Fortunately, in Teams That Thrive, Ryan and Warren promise it doesn’t have to be that way. Read this book and start creating teams that work!Greg Surratt
The daily life of running a church ministry is all about teams. How are they doing? Are they growing? How do we get new folks on teams? Teams That Thrive helps us to answer these questions with solid research, stories and examples, and to form and maintain great teams.David Fletcher
The most effective churches in America today have strong leaders who surround themselves with a smart team of leaders. Finally, a practical book on leadership that help churches develop the right kind of team to lead their church forward. This book is long overdue, greatly needed and high on my recommendation list.Jim Tomberlin
In our research we collected some data on 253 churches. In 145 of those churches, at least 75% of the leadership team members completed both assessments we sent to them. The majority of churches were based in the United States. However, twenty-five churches outside of the United States signed up for the original assessment, collectively representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, England, Panama, Phillipines, and South Africa. A variety of evangelical denominations were represented, including Foursquare, Friends, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Pentecostal traditions, as well non-denominational and inter-denominational churches.
We visited 6 of the top-ranked churches, spending at least a full day, and in most cases two days, with them to dig deep into how their teams operated. During those visits, we interviewed (nearly) all of the leadership team members, as well as high-capacity volunteers and elders or board members to get their vantage point into the leadership teams.
In addition, we conducted several focus groups and interviews with leadership team members at dozens of different churches, learning about their team practices.
- We used the Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS), one of the leading team assessments on the market, and the one used to generate the data for the leading marketplace book on Senior Leadership Teams, to generate a valid and reliable measure of team performance, and created a Team Communication Questionnaire (TCQ) to ask about team composition, communication practices, and contextual influences.
- Once we collapsed the individual-level data to group-level data for both surveys by identifying the mean of the individual scores for continuous variables and the mode for nominal variables, the data was analyzed by the bootstrap forest approach to identify the factors that most affected team performance variables.
- Then, we grouped similar kinds of variables together (such as those related to team decision-making or team structure), and completed a decision tree analysis, to identify the factors in each area that best explained variance in team performance.
- After that, we grouped churches together in performance bands, identifying those in the top quartile and those in the bottom quartile. We compared means of those groups on several variables, noting key differences between the top churches and the underperforming churches in the data set.
- Finally, we profiled the teams scoring in the top 10%, looking for normative data on how those teams are composed and what they do.
All of this was accomplished through the expert assistance of two statistical consultants, one who assisted in survey design, and the other who assisted in analysis. Both of them are outstanding research methodologists.