Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Vineyard Church, whose leaders Daniel and Ramona Cannone and their team, build their health and vitality through initiatives such as this. 

Read the conversation below. 

NCLS: Can you tell me about your leadership. How big’s your leadership team?

DC: It’s broken up. So I’ve got a board that has six or eight people, but that’s just purely business, finance and legals.

The actual ministry team consists of 12 and they’re all husbands and wives, so six couples. There isn’t an individual on it. Some of the wives and some of the husbands don’t operate on a week to week basis in that team, but they’re included in the team. So there’s 12 of us.

The team that doesn’t exist yet, is an eldership. So I haven’t developed a team of elders. But that’s going to be formed out of six people. So those six people, they’re husband and wife together. These people at the moment are from different ministries and departments and teams.

NCLS: Talk to me about that.

DC: Well, this is where the transition comes into play, the big shift. So anything I talk about now is all idealism. And it cannot be pointed to our previous growth, so this is all hypotheticals.

But the reason I don’t like it is because it’s very much a silo in each ministry area.

So everybody on the associate team, actually carries a gift that the body needs. I’m looking at it from an ascension ministry model, the five-fold ascension ministry gifts. I’d like to have those people responsible for the spiritual life of the church, which is what the eldership will be. At the moment, the associates are functioning as that, like a dual role. So they’re ‘go and get things done’ people, but they’re also a spiritual headship element as well.

But I’ve termed, what I call just a cross-pollination of gift, so that everybody who is in my inner circle, has the capacity to minister to any point in the church when it’s needed. So Alana, you’ve met Alana. She’s great at management, oversight, planning. Brilliant at administration or oversight. But then you’ve got Leanne who’s just one of the most pastoral people you’ll ever meet. And then you’ve got Sam who’s got great motivational gifting and quite the encourager. So all three of those are going to be needed at one point or another. But if they’re relegated to what’s under them in their silo, then the rest of the church misses out on their gift.

So I want to create like a cross-pollination, like a hive mentality. So my next meeting, what I’m actually going to do is every name I’m going to put on the board and then my team are going to say of their own volition, I actually relate well to this person. I know I’ve got influence or a leadership role in this person.

And they tick who they actually would lead well, they would relate to, or who they’ve got a history with. And that’ll look a whole lot different to what’s on this bit of paper. So to lead relationally and family-wise, Sam might say, look, I really connect with this person but that person’s under Alana.

NCLS: Yes, right.

DC: But I lead them really well. I don’t know a thing about their team or their other department. I’m not on the count team or on the, you know, but I know I can lead that person.

So making it far more relational. It’s hard because you are loosening a lot of the boundaries which often creates confusion. People would like things to be clear cut. So how we roll that out’s going to be seen.

We’re going to have to do a lot of experimenting and have a lot of grace for people, and ask them to hold a lot of grace for us, because I’d like to bring far more of a holistic view of the leadership structure rather than the silo view because that doesn’t help to bring unity. So you’re kind of working against your own structure to bring the culture you want.

NCLS: We’ll need to come back in five years to see what has progressed in the cross pollination hive model you describe.

DC: Yes, that’s exactly right. If we’re growing, then tick. If we’ve fallen in a heap, then you’ll know. We’ll wait and see, that’s exactly right. Who knows. I’ve always had a sneaky suspicion the next 20 years are going to be a lot of fun.

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