I love sports! In fact, if you know me, I love Duke (hopefully this does not mean I lose my reading audience). I love all Duke University sports. I grew up in North Carolina and have been an avid Duke fan since I was young. As you know, if you follow sports, the Duke University men’s basketball team recently won the national title. If you followed them throughout the season, you would have never thought that it was possible for that team to win the title. Duke relied heavily on freshman, they had one of their best players kicked off the team mid-season and only had eight scholarship players. The difference in them losing and winning was that they became a real team mid-season.
Developing a team is so important whether it is a sports team, a business or a church. I want to share a few characteristics of a great team.
1. Unity—I have been in churches that were not unified, and the team failed. I have been in other situations where the team experienced true unity, and it was a beautiful thing. Unity is vastly important, and it requires each member of the team to put aside their personal preferences for what is best for the entire team.
2. Character—Character is at the heart of the team. Each member of the team must demonstrate genuine character when building great teams that last. Without character, the rest of the team characteristics are useless.
3. Chemistry—Building great teams requires team chemistry. This is all of the way down to the hiring process. Hire people who fit. One thing that amazes me is that so often churches hire people who do not fit in the church. This will not build a great team.
4. Diversity—What I love about Trinity (where I serve currently) is the diversity of our team. We have young pastors and old pastors. We have conservative pastors and some more progressive pastors. We have different personalities on our team. Teams that cannot look past differences and accept diversity will limit their ability to build a great team. They may build a pretty good team, but they will not build a great team.
5. Competency—I listed this last for a reason. This is so important, but in my experience, this is not the most important. For instance, someone can have the degrees, the experience and the intelligence that can make them a great team player, but if they lack chemistry and unity—the team can become dysfunctional.
For those of you who serve on a team in a business or a church, the team that we serve on is critical, and we play an integral part to the success of the team in its entirety. It is my desire that we build healthy teams that contain people of character who are committed to unity, who are diverse and who have the skills to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.