5 Ways to Build Community and Unite Your Team

Editor’s note: Rick Muchow, longtime worship leader at Saddleback Church, offers these suggestions to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your team into, well, a team. Read on for Rick’s list of ideas:

1. Use a slogan or phrase

Saddleback’s: “More than music, we’re a family.” People remember slogans and will apply what they remember.

2. Notice the individual—build a family

  • Every event or interaction needs to be “family building.”
  • Staff and leaders need to be early to meetings, rehearsals, etc., to greet, encourage and pray with the volunteers.
  • Must be relational before transactional.
  • Use phone calls, texts, notes and visits to interact with volunteers, not automated messages from church management software.
  • Volunteers come first!
  • Demonstrate your faith in front of the team … be a good example for them to follow.
  • Recruit weekly—use auditions to build community.
  • Audition for three commitments: Time, Spiritual and Talent. … Make it an event and makie it encouraging.
  • Biblical community is inclusive. Not just for the most talented, our favorites or just for the Creative Arts volunteers.
  • Include the team members’ family into the ministry family—include their spouses, kids, jobs, etc.
  • Visit them in their homes, hospital, their concerts, games etc.
  • Be available in times of need (delegate care)
  • Our staff team/leaders should be the first responders in crisis

3. Involve the team
Delegate—Old Testament Model

As in Exodus 18:13-26:

THE PROBLEM: Moses was doing all the work by himself and was burning out (vs. 17-18).

THE SOLUTION: They divided the ministry to God’s people into smaller groups (vs. 21-22).

THE STRATEGY: Moses appointed
Leaders of 10     Leaders of 100
Leaders of 50     Leaders of 1000

THE RESULT: Moses was relieved and everyone had his needs satisfied (vs. 23).

Delegate planning frequent gatherings as a whole team once quarterly:

  • Can include training, party, food, a fun get together, on- or off-site.
  • Doesn’t have to cost money.
  • Communicate clearly to leaders.

4. Take time to pray and teach the Bible
Include prayer and bible study in every rehearsal:

  • “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
  • “He who sings prays twice.” St. Augustine
  • “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col 4:2).
  • “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

5. Enjoy the journey

Have fun!

  • Celebrate milestones, births, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, healing, hard work and all the good stuff.
  • Share stories of how God is working.
  • Get excited about what God is doing and how He is using the team.
  • Include the familes of team members in the community.
  • Visit team members in their homes, hospital, outside of the church walls … meet with them in nature, recreation, sports events and entertainment options!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4).  

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Rick Muchow
Rick Muchow is the Pastor of Worship at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and has served faithfully there for 21 years. Rick has recorded 11 albums and has 84 songs registered with CCLI; he also authored The Worship Answer Book and is a contributing editor to Leadership journal. Rick offers resources and ministry support to the local church through his Web site, EncouragingMusic.com.