Becoming a team is difficult and takes time. Pastors have a difficult time working in teams. They tend to be "lone rangers", thinking that they can do a better job than those in the congregation; therefore, they shy away from forming teams.
According to Jim Herrington, Mike Bonem and James H. Furr in their book Leading Congregational Change, a team is "A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable." (pg. 128)
Recently I conducted a seminar with 5 pastors concerning Team Building and Team Learning. One of the sessions dealt with the examination of how Jesus built His team of 12 and how it took Him 3 years to build that team.
Jesus is the best example of leadership so we need to see how He did it. All 5 pastors I worked with were asked to form a team of 5 to 7 leaders from their church who would become their vision/leadership team. They were to apply what they learned in the seminar with those team leaders.
Here are the basics of the training:
A Team Becomes a Team When:
- there is an open trust among the members
- there is passionate debate around issues of conflict
- when there is buy-in, clarity and alignment concerning the mission and vision of the church
- when the members of the team hold one another accountable regarding performance; and
- when there is focus on results not on egos.
I then had the 5 pastors examine the team Jesus brought around himself and asked them to answer 6 questions:
- Did the 12 become a team and when?
- Did the 12 have trust issues?
- Did the 12 have conflict among themselves?
- Did the 12 commit to Jesus' mission and vision and when?
- Did the 12 hold one another accountable?; and
- Did the 12 stay focused on results?
This simple yet direct guidelines can enable congregational leaders to come away with a better understanding of team ministry in the church.
How is your church doing in developing strong leadership teams?