7 Steps to Building a Strong Team

Guest post author is Brian Autry, executive director of the SBC of Virginia.  A partnership of over 650 churches, SBC of Virginia focuses on church planting, strengthening local churches and pastors, and mobilizing churches for missions.  More information at www.sbcv.org.

Whether in sports, business, or even church, we understand the importance of teamwork.  Building a strong team is critical for a healthy church or organization.  What should we keep in mind in building strong teams?

  1. Invite and involve others to serve with you.  Before you build a strong team, you have to actually have a team.  One example from the early church in Scripture is recorded in Acts 6.  The apostles saw the need for a team and led the church in inviting and involving others to serve.
  2. Look for character as you seek competency.  A person who has character but lacks competency will be ineffective.  But, a person who lacks character, no matter how competent, can be a disaster.  A person who lacks competency may be bad at being good, but a person who lacks character while having competency may be good at being bad!
  3. Focus on the person and not just the position.  As leaders, we are often focused on the agenda we need to accomplish.  Team members need to know, though, that we care about them personally and spiritually, and not just their professional or organizational contribution.
  4. Give explanations as well as have expectations.  People cannot read our minds.  As leaders, we have to do our best to give clear explanations of our expectations.  This may be in the form of a job description and organizational charts, as well as offering time for open verbal and mutual communication.
  5. Highlight the past as you spotlight the future. Having a vision for the future is part of leadership, but we often inherit a team already in place. Get to know the shared history of the team. Humbly build upon past successes, and graciously address weaknesses.
  6. Take time to enjoy those you employ.   Sometimes lunch should just be lunch.  Often I have turned lunch into the proverbial “lunch and learn.” However, team building involves relationship building – so add that to your “to do” list.
  7. Be a good team member as you seek to be a good team builder.  Building a sense of team means that I embrace being a part of the team too. Personalities are different, but find ways to demonstrate that you, too, want to be a part of your team.

What have seen or learned to be effective in building a strong team? What qualities do you think are important in the life of a team builder?

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