Healthy and strong leadership teams can be a tremendous asset to any organization. These teams are respected examples of unity, love, and bringing glory to God! Every leader wants to be on this type of team! On the flip side, unhealthy and weak leadership teams are a source of anxiety and frustration and can damage the organization’s reputation and testimony. No leader strives to have a dysfunctional team, yet sadly enough, dysfunctional teams are very common. They’re the result of progressive wandering away from personal accountability, humility, persistent growth, and seeking God’s guidance. Here are six simple principles to help keep a team healthy:
- Clarify goals and values. Who are you as a team? What’s your purpose? What are your main objectives? Why is your team important to the organization? What is God calling you to do? Discussing goals and values often keeps a team unified in direction and brings clarity to tough decisions. “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2)
- Practice transparency. Set aside time at each meeting to share what God is doing in your lives, discuss struggles and challenges, and request prayer. Spiritual intimacy allows for accountability, encouragement, and support. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
- Understand strengths. Ministry can be an explosion of joy, fruitfulness, and excitement when we maximize the experiences, spiritual gifts, passions, and interests of our team members. Understanding weaknesses, energy drainers, and personality quirks is equally important in order to avoid situations that may be fruitless or discouraging. Discussing the results of various personality and spiritual gifting assessments can be a fun activity for any team! “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)
- Grow together. Working through a leadership book or resource such as Designing Your Women’s Ministry (Group) as a team provides a great platform for understanding one another better and developing leadership skills. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
- Have fun! Ministry is challenging so it’s important to laugh and celebrate often! Hosting team potlucks, a Christmas party and gift swap, a summer cookout, or traveling to a conference together are all great ways to build memories and deepen relationships.
- Praise and give thanks often. Everyone wants to feel valued. Finding creative and unique ways to thank each team member communicates appreciation for their time, prayers, support, and service. Mailing thank-you cards quarterly to those who’ve lead Bible studies, helped with projects, or have supported the ministry during that season are always well received! “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
Healthy teams leave a strong legacy and set God-honoring standards for the following teams. As leaders, we determine the direction of our team but we must fight to stay on course.
Melinda Adair serves as the ladies’ ministry team leader at Kennewick Baptist Church in Washington and assists her husband, Cliff, in the youth department. She homeschools two of her three sons, blogs, and loves networking with other leaders.