Multiplication Center

How to Strengthen Your Church’s Senior Leadership Team

February 10, 2012




The free assesment offer is now closed. We invite you to:

1. Receive a free copy of our first report (see below).

2. Ask to receive information about any future reports or studies on senior leadership teams by joining Ryan Hartwig’s mailing list or the e-newletter Advance that highlights trends and resources for churches that Warren Bird oversees.

3. Follow both of us on Twitter @rthartwig and @warrenbird. 


Strengthen Your Church's Senior Leadership Team

A Research Project from

Dr. Warren Bird at the Leadership Network and Dr. Ryan T. Hartwig at Azusa Pacific University

Great senior leadership teams have the potential to bolster a church’s health and growth while taking pressure off the senior pastor and spreading leadership functions among several staff members. When these teams work great, they facilitate:

Vision alignment
Quality decision-making
Increased innovation
Leadership development
Team members who feel involved, valued, committed, and joyful
Enhanced opportunity and productivity
Tearing down silos among ministry departments, units, and campuses
Personal and numerical growth

However, when they don’t, these teams often experience great frustration because decision making takes longer, unresolved conflicts degenerate into long-lasting feuds, meetings are inefficient, etc.

Our report from the first round ouf the study is now available as a free download: Searching for Strong Senior Leadership Teams: What 145 Church Teams Told Us.

Dr. Ryan T. Hartwig is a collaborative, practical academic who helps leaders to Think Deeply, Act Wisely, and Work Better Together. He teaches Group, Organizational, and Leadership Communication courses as Assistant Professor of Communication at Azusa Pacific University in California, researches and writes about teamwork, collaboration, and leadership in nonprofit organizations, and coaches and consults with churches and ministries regarding leadership and ministry teams, discipleship processes, organizational dynamics, and small groups.

He earned graduate degrees in Communication (Ph.D.) from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Higher Education Administration from Purdue University (M.S.Ed.) after earning 2 Bachelor’s degrees from Colorado Christian University. His scholarship has been published in Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, and presented at the annual meetings of the National Communication Association and the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. Learn more about Dr. Hartwig.

Dr. Warren Bird is the Research Director at Leadership Network (, a public charity founded by Bob Buford in 1984 that helps high-influence churches connect with each other in ways that help them move from ideas to implementation to impact. He is co-author of 24 books for church leaders, several of them best sellers and award winners. He has also published over 200 magazine articles and major online reports. He served for 11 years as a lead pastor and associate pastor, and has been an adjunct professor at Alliance Theological Seminary for 17 years. He was trained at Wheaton College (B.A., M.A.), Alliance Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Fordham University (Ph.D.). Learn more about Dr. Bird at

Advisors include statistical consultants Marc Glassman (Ph.D. Columbia University), Scott Thumma (Ph.D., Emory University) and Alexandre Probst (Ph.D. Candidate, Colorado School of Mines).

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