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Building Teams in a Fast Growing Church with Bobby Sasser

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Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. Today Bobby Sasser from Radiant Church joins us. He serves as the executive pastor in multiple locations.

Radiant Church, which opened almost six years ago, is based in the Tampa Bay area. They first launched in an old movie theater with about 350 people and have grown to four locations since then.

Bobby is with us today to talk about finding good leaders for your church.

  • Find the potential versus the flaws. // Bobby believes that the best leaders are built, not found. The vast majority of Radiant Church’s staff was found within the church – people with secular or corporate jobs that made a decision to get plugged in, started volunteering and were developed to lead at a greater level. As Bobby says, if you have a pulse, God has a plan; everyone has been gifted for something. As a staff, their job is to find the potential in people and develop it, rather than focusing on the flaws people have.
  • Elevate team builders. // At Radiant Church, they love on their volunteers who work hard, but they elevate the team builders. The best thing you can do as a leader is pour into people who expand things rather than just do things. Give anyone the opportunity to prove that they can build teams and develop people within the church. They should be people who care about the church, the lead pastor and his family, and see the church community as their family in Christ. Give these people increased responsibility and develop them through stretching opportunities.
  • Push responsibility and empowerment. // When someone joins a team at Radiant Church, they enter the leadership pipeline. The responsibility of the staff person who leads this team would be to continue to develop this new volunteer. If the volunteer is willing to accept more responsibility, the next level is the team leader, who is responsible for certain services or areas. Above the team leader is the team coach. The team coach is another volunteer position who carries a lot of responsibility in the planning and communication of different team activities and roles.
  • How are you building your team? // Radiant uses a method focused on culture and systems called “the zipper” which helps people identify where they are interested in serving. Culture is how people feel when they come and experience any part of the church. Systems are how the staff delivers that vision. Whether volunteers are focused on tasks or people, both areas have to exist together in order to create a culture of empowerment. Volunteers in both areas need to be developed. Systems aren’t a straightjacket to culture, they simply are a roadway that helps the culture expand.
  • Focus on values. // It’s easy to come up with ideas for the church, yet drop the focus on getting them done. Continue to highlight your values—whether in staff meetings, team huddles, the content you’re creating, etc.— in order to keep culture in front of people. Radiant focuses on four values with their team: seek God, pursue excellence, create life, and empower people.
  • Evaluate the focus on multiplication. // Multisite church is really popular right now, but Bobby says that every church needs to evaluate if it is right for them. Multisite is difficult and requires a lot of focus on things like staff and location. In order to be poised to multiply well, the key things a church needs to be developing are healthy culture, giving (are people in the area you want to launch contributors or consumers?), and vision.

You can learn more about Radiant Church at weareradiant.com or email Bobby here.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.