I’ve been listening to Go Team! Take Your Team to the Next Level by Ken Blanchard. I think most church staff teams could be developed into next level teams. More than work groups, teams collaborate, using strengths from each other to build on ideas that produce powerful ways of doing ministry. Next level teams make coming up with new and amazing plans, reaching more people and making a difference in the kingdom look easy.
Here are four questions every team must answer – from Blanchard’s book, Go Team!: Take Your Team to the Next Level
1) Do we have a common purpose or mission? The mission is what the team does. Most teams that fail do so because team members lack clarity and alignment about their mission. The mission is the reason the team exists. New teams or teams in trouble should clearly define what they do. The more clearly the mission is defined, the more able team members will be to take the mission and accomplish it.
2) Do we have agreed upon operating processes? Agreed upon processes will give the team structure as it is accomplishing the tasks. It tells the team how decisions will be made. There will be multiple levels of operations depending on the task at hand and the tenure of team members. To be effective, the team must have clear and agreed upon processes. Examples might be the processes for resolving conflict among the team, processes about how they will work and meet together, processes for scheduling vacations, processes for how information is shared, etc.
3) Do we have shared operating principles? Different than the processes, the principles guide how team members will treat each other. What values do we share as a team? How will we respect each other and work together for the purpose of the mission? Operating principles are a code of conduct for each team member. Being on time for meetings, respecting each other, having fun as a team, learning together on a regular basis and any number of other things your team considers to be important as you accomplish the task together.
4) Do we understand and appreciate our different roles? There are two types of roles each team member brings – their formal role and informal role. The former role is described in the job description or title. What is this person’s role in the organization? The informal roles are the natural skills and talents a person may have. Examples of this might be good meeting management skills, team members who are good with concepts and ideas, other team members who are good with details, those who naturally resolve tension and bring peace, etc. A good exercise is to discuss these roles with the team to determine how you might best utilize the gifts of team members.
It would behoove every church staff team to ask and answer these questions together.