One of the unique things about The Next Level Church in Denver, Colorado is that it does not have a Senior or Lead Pastor. The responsibility to lead, guide and shepherd the church is equally shared by four people.
Jared Mackey: Ministry Core Pastor
John Miller: Worship Core Pastor
Brian Gray: Community Core Pastor
Me: Teaching Core Pastor
We lead by consensus, which has its ups and downs.
Here is one of those "ups": Collective praise and blame.
A shared leadership model makes it hard to be egotistical about your contribution to the whole. Since the work, vision and health of the community does not rest on the shoulders of one person or department it is difficult to think your involvement in the public gathering, an event or the church in general is the to key to its success. Any praise a person gets is joint recognition of the work of the whole.
Any appreciation I personally may get for a well given sermon or talk cannot be absorbed by me alone. Portions of that acknowledgment have to go to the other three guysI work with, those who participate in our Teaching Roundtable and everyone else who has an impact in my life because they all have had a voice into any talk I happen to give. Any recognition of one person’s contribution is really recognition of the community’s contribution.
All of this helps to keep my ego in check. Just because I happen to be the upfront guy most of the time does not mean I do my job alone.
The opposite is also true. When things go upside down, backwards or sideways, there is a collective of people, voices and options who contributed to this as well. If one part of the body is sick, the whole body is unhealthy. If I fail, we have all failed (in some way).
Share leadership can be a microcosm of the church in general.