How do you put together a team of leaders to guide a church through a new ministry initiative or project?
3 different conversations with 3 different pastors over the course of 3 different days, but all having the same question!
As with all great questions, the answer begins with another question. One of the first I would ask is Why does this group exist? How that question is answered will determine, to a great measure, the success of the team. Pat MacMillan, author of The Performance Factor, and Seth Godin, author of Tribes, have been a great resource for me in working with church leadership teams.
The single most important ingredient in a team’s success is a clear, common, compelling task.
The power of a team flows out of each team member’s alignment to its purpose. The task of any team is to accomplish an objective and to do so at exceptional levels of performance. Teams are not ends in themselves, but rather a means to an end.
The power of teamwork flows out of alignment between the interests of individual team members and the mission of the team. MacMillan found that to achieve such alignment, team members must see the task as:
- Clear – I see it.
- Relevant – I want it.
- Significant – It’s worth it.
- Urgent – I want it…now!
- Achievable – I believe it.
So you want to put together a leadership team for a specific project?
NEWS FLASH: There really is an “I” in team – if the individual members aren’t committed to a clear, common, and compelling task as individuals first, then you really won’t have much of a team.
So, the first answer to the question above?
A: First, the church needs to have a clear understanding of what the team is expected to accomplish. That clear purpose will serve as a guide to seeking individuals who will bring their collective wisdom together to form, over time, a team to accomplish the task.