Team building is the manifestation of leadership we are looking at today. At its basic this would involve the ability to bring people around the vision and the mission. Together everyone assists in implementing and fulfilling the goals that have arisen from the vision. The place to start is asking, what is team building? The dictionary definition of team building: the ability to identify and motivate individuals to form a team that stays together, works together, and achieves together.
Several things stand out from this definition. You have to be able to identify the team. There are times when you inherit the team and there are times in which you are able to recruit the team. Either way you have to both identify and motivate them that together you will be able to do much more than any one of you could on your own. When you are building a team you are building for the future. In the local church this is a change in thinking because staff who have responsibility for one area, often are not aware of how their area of ministry interacts or impacts other ministry areas. This creates ministry silos where rather instead of having a team working together or a team of interconnected parts we have several stand alone ministries that compete for volunteers, resources and the time of the people. Because they are evaluated on their ministry area only, their ministry becomes the only focus. It is the team leader’s responsibility to tell them that they are responsible for their area of ministry, but that we are all responsible to move the local church forward together. In order to do that we have to cooperate and prayerfully work together. You have to understand what the goals and vision of the church is, and where the church is today and where the church is headed in the future. This is the exact point where team building is essential. It all comes down to an old adage: if one wins we all win. The individuals and the team are moving toward the vision and mission of the church. The ministry team has to see that when the parts come together we move forward. It is difficult to remove competition totally. Moving from a competition culture to a cooperation culture is hard, but essential and necessary. Teamwork signifies that we’re all on the same team and when the team wins we all win.
There are many resources that can help you in the area of team building. There are places available where they will walk you through the process and you can play team building games. For some the prospect of team building is anything but exciting! Yet we must begin to work together, share and fellowship together. There are other online resources, books, seminars and conferences as well. If this is an area where you’re not comfortable or need assistance, the good news is there is plenty of help available. What you really have to concentrate on is not allowing good to be the enemy of the best or allowing the average to become a substitute for quality. I have found that the best way to locate help is to ask people I feel are competent in this area, and inquiring of them as to what conferences they have attended? I also ask what books, magazines or podcasts do they refer to for help in this area? Good leaders are always ready and willing to help others improve their leadership skills. Since the subject is teamwork, shame on anyone who wouldn’t try to help you be a better team leader or to build a better team. Starting today determine you will be a team and not operate as a “lone ranger” kind of leader