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Sticky Teams

Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page
Larry Osborne
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Learn the secrets to building and maintaining a healthy, productive, and unified ministry team that sticks together for the long haul.

Serving as a church leader can be a tough calling. Whatever your role, odds are you've known your share of the frustration and disillusionment that comes with turf battles, conflicting vision, and marathon meetings. You may have asked yourself, "How did it get this way?"

With twenty years of front-line ministry experience, Larry Osborne understands congregations (as baffling as they can sometimes be) and he know how the best-intentioned teams can become disrupted and disunified. With this book, he aims to shore up the foundation of a healthy team--what does a unified and thriving church leadership look like and how can it be achieved?

Sticky Teams is divided into three main sections, dealing with key aspects of what it takes to develop long-term, efficient harmony:

  • Landmines and Roadblocks exposes the organizational structures, policies, and traditions that can unintentionally sabotage even the best of teams. You'll discover strategies for managing conflicts and getting around obstacles.
  • Equipped for Ministry explores what it takes to get everyone on the same page and headed in the same direction. Chapters deal with practical tips for board, staff, and congregational alignment.
  • Communication examines what it takes to keep everyone on the same page, with a special emphasis on some especially dicey areas and issues of ministry, such as conversations about money.

Whatever your situation; from start-up phase, to mid-sized, to megachurch, Osborne has been there. As the pastor of North Coast Church, he's walked his board, staff, and congregation through the process of becoming more genuinely unified, and, because of that, better able to carry out God's design for his church.

With warm encouragement and insight, he shares expertise that most pastors and leadership teams learn only from long experience: how to invest the time to create church harmony and how to lead so that unity is maintained long-term.

About the Author

Larry Osborne is a teaching pastor at North Coast Church in northern San Diego County. North Coast is widely recognized as one of the most influential and innovative churches in America. Osborne speaks extensively on the subjects of leadership and spiritual formation. His books include Sticky Teams, Sticky Church, 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe, and Spirituality for the Rest of Us. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Oceanside, California.


“A must-read for any leader who cares about unity. The last words of Jesus’ prayer have to be our first priority as church leaders. The truth is, we don’t think we need to know how to guard unity in our teams until we don’t have unity in our closest relationships. I know firsthand what disunity feels like. In our fast-growing (Baby Huey, thanks Larry) church, we didn’t guard what was most important. Thanks to Larry’s friendship and wisdom, I got to live this book before I read it. Any leader who cares about the local church must make this book and its principles a high priority. Unity will cost you, but not having it will cost you so much more. Thank you, Larry, for believing in what Jesus died for. Sticky teams are high priority for Living Hope! A team that doesn’t stick together won’t stay together. ONLY GOD!” -- John Bishop

“Advice can come from the ivory tower of speculation, or it can come from the trenches of experience. Pastor Larry Osborne shares what he’s learned in the trenches and has applied successfully at North Coast Church. He addresses issues that are often avoided, from setting salaries to handling a church board to firing underperforming staff. Larry successfully leads a church through a highly effective ‘sticky team.’ You’ll want one for your church, and Larry will help you get it.” -- Ron Forseth

“As I read through an advance copy of Sticky Teams, two words and a phrase repeated in my mind. The words? ‘Profoundly simple.’ Larry has a gift to take the profound and make it easy to understand. As a pastor, I need that. The phrase? ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ Again and again, I reflected on situations that I’ve encountered as a pastor struggling to lead different types of teams, wishing that I’d thought of Larry’s profoundly simple advice. If you relate to boards, lead a staff, or are thinking about starting a church, seriously, this ought to be one of the first books you consider purchasing.” -- Greg Surratt

“For a couple of years now, I’ve sounded like a broken record. Whenever someone has asked me how to handle some tricky situation around our church, I’ve pulled out old notes from conversations with Larry Osborne and said, ‘Well, Larry would recommend we . . . ’. Larry seems to have faced every conceivable tension point a pastor of a growing church is likely to encounter. The lessons he learned along the way have been refined through decades of fruitful ministry and poured into this intensely practical book. I am so stoked that I no longer have to dig up old notes. I merely have to hand out copies of Sticky Teams.” -- Noel Heikkinen

“Frustrated about what you didn’t learn early in your ministry? It seems that all of the young leaders I engage with want Larry Osborne as their mentor. Sticky Teams contains the best thinking about practical church leadership that you will find today. Highly recommended for lead pastors and governing boards to work through together.” -- Dave Travis

“I love Larry Osborne’s style of frontal attack. No innuendos or subtleties---only straight–up, experience-based principles. Sticky Teams leaves no stone unturned, addressing every aspect of organizations with commonsense, pragmatic solutions that can be used today and in the days ahead. Larry will challenge you while leading you. Get ready for a new day with your team; every team member needs to read this. Get ready for change; reading this book is the first step toward having sticky teams.” -- Dr. Samuel R. Chand

“I loved this book. In my opinion, no one has more practical, down-to-earth but Spirit-filled wisdom than Larry Osborne. Larry has been a valuable mentor in my life. He has really helped us develop the leadership culture at The Summit Church.” -- J. D. Greear, Ph.D.

“I wish every pastor, church board member, and staff member would consider this book required reading. Larry shares in a very clear and compelling way his wisdom about how pastors, board, and staff relate to one another as team members. His valuable insights could save so many church leaders and churches from serious problems. More important, church leaders and their churches will learn to be more focused on Christ’s mission. Read the book, then discuss it with other leaders. It will impact your leadership effectiveness.” -- Mel Ming

“If you’re looking for a book on church leadership filled with philosophies and theory, then Sticky Teams isn’t for you. If you are looking for practical, sound, biblical strategies to be a better leader, then Sticky Teams will not disappoint. I am convinced this book will sharpen me as a leader and make the church I serve a healthier, more-effective place.” -- Toby Slough

“If you’ve you ever been frustrated with how hard it is to keep everyone on the same page, if you’ve left a team meeting thinking, ‘That was a waste of time,’ if you’ve ever thought that the team meetings you were leading had all the excitement of chewing on cardboard, then this book is for you. It is so practical and filled with common sense you’ll find yourself saying, ‘That’s so true. How come I’ve never heard anyone say that before?’ Building a team is one thing; keeping that team on the same page is quite another matter. This book will help you do both.” -- Chris Dolson

“In Sticky Teams, you’ll find the kind of no-nonsense, in-the-trenches leadership wisdom that only Larry Osborne delivers. It’s no secret that many of the theories of leadership that sound good on paper (and in the classroom) simply don’t work in real life. Osborne provides alternative, seasoned advice and leadership principles that transcend church size and denominations to zero in on the principles and practices that build an effective and healthy leadership team.” -- Tony Morgan

“Larry gets it. He gets the church. He gets leadership. I’ve been quoting him in my seminars for years. Finally, the ‘Best of Larry’ is out and available for all to enjoy! These truths will stick and will shape your leadership for years to come. Read Sticky Teams and you will find yourself smiling as you shake your head in agreement. Then you’ll join me in saying, ‘Thank God for Larry’s common sense, clear concepts, and biblical convictions.’ This book collects the ‘Best of Larry’ for all to enjoy!” -- Dale Burke

“Larry isn’t selling ’sexy.’ Sticky Teams tackles the holy trinity of church leadership---the board, the staff, and the people who gather---offering tangible, even counterintuitive, wisdom. Too often, books or conferences on leadership offer solutions that simply leave you wishing your budget, facilities, staff, or congregation were much bigger, better, or faster. What is meant to inspire ends up being disempowering. But Sticky Teams is different. It is filled with scalable and transferable wisdom that will help you and your people flourish whether you serve a church of five, five hundred, or five thousand.” -- Tom Hughes

“Larry Osborne is a pastor I trust to share thoughtful insights into church leadership. With his new book, Sticky Teams, he draws from years of church leadership to help pastors with all levels of experience to understand what moves their teams forward and what holds them back. Sticky Teams is one of those books you will read more than once. It is wise and practical, just like its author.” -- Ed Stetzer

“Larry Osborne is one of my heroes---a real ‘leader’s leader.’ He has been delivering kingdom results for a couple of decades through the ministry of North Coast Church. In his latest book, Sticky Teams, Larry unlocks the secret---building effective leadership at every level. I believe this is a must-read book for any leader.” -- Bob Buford

“Larry Osborne is one of the wisest prophetic leaders in the Christian church today. He continues to say things no one else is saying, teaching us things no one else is teaching. In Sticky Teams, he does it again! This book is a gift to the church. Every pastor, board member, and church committee member in America ought to read and discuss it. Larry’s discussion on ‘What Game Are We Playing?’ may have saved my ministry. But frankly, every chapter could do that for us all!” -- Shawn Lovejoy

“Larry Osborne is the king of common sense and counterintuitive church leadership. Too many pastors and leadership boards search far and wide for solutions to their unity issues. Larry shows that most of the answers are not ‘out there somewhere,‘ but are in the attitudes and actions of the existing leadership. As I read through the pages of Sticky Teams, I resonated with each issue and nodded in approval of his practical solutions. It overflows with the insights and the wisdom of experience and gives church leaders a sense of the perspectives, priorities, and practices necessary for unity in whatever stage your church presently functions.” -- Scott Ridout

“Larry Osborne shares principles that will empower individuals to build strong and effective teams. His insight and transparency will benefit all sectors of society. If you want to build a team that will impact your organization and your community, you want this book!” -- Pastor John Jenkins

“Lots of people talk about community; few help us figure out how to build community. Larry Osborne is one of the few.” -- John Ortberg

“Most of the time, sequels are weak. But occasionally the sequel is as strong as or stronger than the original. That is the case with Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne. I’ve had the privilege of knowing and following Larry for more than twenty years. During that time, I’ve often described him as the guy who was asking and answering the questions the rest of us were not ready to deal with yet. Sticky Teams builds on Larry’s seminal books, The Unity Factor and Sticky Church. Readers will learn to lead better, serve better, and build better teams. I’m looking forward to a having a stickier staff, board, and congregation team because of Larry’s contribution. Thanks, Larry---again!” -- Dr. John Jackson

“Once again, Larry Osborne has written a timely tool for pastors everywhere who are trying to optimize their ministry. He has taken us from Sticky Church, in which we learned how to keep members involved, to Sticky Teams, in which we learn how to keep leaders united. Whether you are pastoring a small church in Mississippi or a megachurch in California, Larry has something to share on how to remove the obstacles that prevent staffs and boards from working together effectively. Larry’s transparency about his successes and failures lifts the reader to higher heights as we make room for ’young eagles‘ and ensure that our churches remain relevant. This book is vital for all pastors who want all the players in their churches to work toward the goal of being a place where people stick and stay. Sticky Teams is both practical and inspiring, with real-life examples of how to avoid the pitfalls of leadership and how to structure your church administratively for success. Larry shows us how to get stuck on our unity, instead of in our dysfunction, and how shared vision inevitably leads us to be a sticky church.” -- Dr. Stacy L. Spencer

“One of the things that seemingly goes unaddressed in church world is how essential it is for a staff to have healthy relationships, to feel like a team that completes one another rather than competes with one another. Unity doesn’t happen by accident, and it also doesn’t happen by a leader commanding it. Unity and teamwork take place when a leader is willing to do the hard work and make sure the systems and structures are in place that allow for a healthy environment that, over time, becomes contagious. This book is incredible because Larry shares extremely practical insights not just on what to do but on how to do it. And the thing I especially love is that his book isn’t full of untested theories; rather it is full of values that he has lived out and led through over the past twenty years.” -- Perry Nobel

“Scan the titles of each chapter, and you’ll quickly see how valuable Sticky Teams is for anyone who wants a healthy, functional church. It’s full of the seasoned wisdom and real-life examples one picks up at the school of hard knocks. Thanks to Larry’s characteristic transparency, leaders all around can trade in the high price of hard knocks for the price of this book. What a deal! I’ll definitely be using it with key leaders and pastor friends.” -- Ken Werlein

“Sticky Teams is a brilliant book that every ministry leader should be required to read before accepting an appointment on a board, on a staff, or as a pastor. Osborne identifies the characteristics of a unified body of people working toward health and long-term effectiveness. It doesn’t mean we all agree, that we don’t sin, or that we will never change. In this book, Larry Osborne offers a useful compass for church leaders to navigate safely through the rough waters of board, staff, and congregational unity.” -- Scott Thomas

“Sticky Teams is the book I needed when I landed in the jungles of my first pastorate. Pushing theory aside, Larry boldly offers the advice of an experienced practitioner. This book is destined to be a standard for all those who hope to develop healthy and lasting church leadership. This should be required reading for all staff and board members.” -- Mark Forman

“Sticky Teams isn’t a book about getting volunteers to work well enough to accomplish some church project. It is a straightforward seminar on paper that speaks to the very issues pastors of growing churches face every day, and offers sane and tested ways to turn those issues into fuel for the mission of Christ. Larry Osborne has few peers in the area of practical church leadership. He takes profound challenges and untwists them with a simplicity that brings clarity without dismissing their complexity. The gospel mission, through the church, must occupy the center of every pastor’s vision. This book will help you build and empower the team your church needs to keep that vision vibrant and productive.” -- David W. Hegg

“Sticky Teams isn’t a book; it’s a treasure chest. Reach in for handfuls of twenty-four-karat wisdom from one of America’s most people-savvy pastors. Larry Osborne’s insights are priceless on three counts: thoroughly practical, totally readable, and highly transferable to your unique leadership context.” -- Will Mancini

“This is possibly the best book on leadership ever written. Everyone should buy multiple copies.” -- Carolyn Osborne

“What Sticky Church was to small groups, Sticky Teams is to church leadership. This is the most practical book I’ve read on the subject. Larry Osborne is a genius at bringing straightforward answers and simple solutions to even the most challenging and complex issues that every church faces. If God is calling your team toward greater health and increasing effectiveness, Sticky Teams is a must-read!” -- Scott Chapman

“What the church needs, in every generation, is fresh perspective and seasoned experience. It’s rare to find both in one voice, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from Larry Osborne’s work---innovation and mature perspective. What a gift to the church!” -- James Long

“Wow! Larry Osborne has done it again. It’s like a Vulcan “mind meld”---a lifetime of knowledge passed from one generation to the next. I can only imagine the land mines I could have avoided if I had had a book like Sticky Teams twenty-five years ago. What an incredible gift from a seasoned leader to the next generation of emerging leaders and pastors.” -- Rick Olmstead

“Larry Osborne is a rare sage whose leadership insights read like fresh air in an otherwise saturated market. And his latest book, Sticky Teams, should be required reading for pastors, church planters, and those in seminaries preparing for ministry. The book captures the experiential, innovative knowledge of a proven pastor, yet packages it in a way that is both compelling and practical. It will help you avoid painful mistakes in team-building and costly, personal losses that will no doubt occur without such proactive consideration. Chapter 4 alone is worth the price of the book!” -- Mark DeYmaz, Founding Pastor

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 224
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310324645
  • Release: April 11, 2010