Last week, I was at a network gathering of women in ministry in the Twin Cities of Minnesota (let me know if you want an invite to the next one!). The topic for our evening was “Team Building,” as in, “what does your team look like for the ministry God has you leading?”
Most of us are convinced by now that this whole life thing, save ministry, isn’t to be done in a vacuum and it’s not to be done alone. While some of us may have scoffed at group work in high school because we didn’t want our grades to suffer in light of who was in our group, I think it’s safe to say that now that we are much older and wiser, we appreciate the value of a team and know that we can accomplish SO MUCH more for the Kingdom when we involve others.
Before I go further into the makings of a good team, let me say this: teams are not an option in God’s Kingdom, they’re a necessity. And as leaders, part of our mandate is to enlist the help of others so that we can help them live out their calling and give them space to use the gifts that God has given them, all the while helping them become all that God created them to be (check out Ephesians 4:11-16 if you’re not 100% convinced of this). We build teams not simply to accomplish a task, but building teams is literally about growing Christ’s church — growing it deeper as people get to use their gifts and growing it wider as more people get involved!
Now that we all believe to our core that teams are essential in the Body of Christ (after all, I’m pretty sure you can’t have a whole Body if it’s just you…just sayin’), how do we know who to bring onto our team? You bring together all the pieces of the puzzle. On every team, there should be people who have different gifts, who will play different roles and have the piece of the puzzle that you need.
Teams are essentially a smaller version of the Body of Christ in that they need to have people on them who are different. As leaders, it is all too easy for us to bring together people who are just like us: same age, same passions, same gifts, same personality, same race, same demographics, etc. Last spring, I was in Dallas for a conference and when driving by a church, the acronym for their name (and website url) told me they definitely did not enlist the input of anyone that was younger and/or street smart because well, let’s just say anyone less than holier than thou would’ve thought about something other than a church when reading the letters on the side of their building.
Instead, what we need to be doing (I’m making the assumption that you want to expand God’s Kingdom) is bringing together people who by God’s grace have different gifts, personalities, strengths, experiences, etc. to reach as many people as possible (on our teams and in this world).
So let me ask you, who’s on your team? Who needs to be on your team?