April 26, 2017

The Miracle of Team

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On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Rick Veenstra, Regional Executive for the Synod of the Great Lakes, discusses team ministries and how they help start and strengthen churches.

As a pastor and leader in the church for many years, there were times early on when Rick led staff with a “divide-and-conquer” approach. However, in the latter part of his journey, Rick became sold on the value of teamwork, team development, team leadership, and team ministries. The book that sparked his inspiration was The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni.

Here are the positive corollaries to dysfunctions of a team:

  1. A team must trust one another. Without trust, a group of people cannot become a team. Trust is tremendously important because it develops the kind of vulnerability that is required for a highly functioning team.
  2. Conflict exists within the team. Although this sounds contradictory to the notion of team, people who trust each other are able to openly disagree with one another. Without conflict, there isn’t an open airing of our views, nor is their trust, which restricts actual commitment from the team. Rather, we gain compliance but not commitment.
  3. Once a team becomes committed, they are willing to hold each other accountable for the goals and objectives that become established.
  4. Finally, the team can direct their attention to results. Because a team isn’t an effective team if there are no results. Often, we make great strides in maintaining cooperation and collaboration, but don’t put in the hard work of holding each other accountable and paying attention to the results.

In summary, highly functioning teams trust one another, are able to disagree, are committed to each other, hold each other accountable, and pay attention to results. This is what helps move us toward fulfillment of the Great Commision. In addition, this helps move us toward a growing church in North America – for the sake of the Gospel. That said, working in a team is far better than grinding it out alone. Because working in the context of a team is a more fruitful, productive path to take.

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