I was blessed to be brought up in home where family hangouts were a regular part of my everyday life – whether it was morning devotions around the table, summer evening cycles along the canal or weekend trips in a 9 seater van…..we hung out, A LOT! When I moved to college and lived with housemates, it became apparent that I inherited my mother’s genes when it came to gathering the girls together for cups of tea & chats in the evening. Building ‘family’ and a sense of ‘community’ is something I am quite passionate about. I believe that as human beings we were made for community and created to do life with others; we weren’t created to be alone. So how do we create a sense of team amongst a random group of talented individuals? Here;s 9 tips I’ve learned that have helped to build team along the way…
1. SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says
therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing". Speaking encouraging words of life over your team will inspire them to greatness. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, and some people may have previously been hurt at some point in their journey. Encouragement will break down barriers, develop a sense of trust and bring out the best in your people.
2. PRAY FOR YOUR TEAM.
It might sound like an obvious one, it’s part of the “bread and butter” of our faith, but it is such a powerful weapon that can change even the most difficult of atmospheres in a team. Let’s face it, there is no perfect team out there and while there are people involved, there will always be need for prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to change difficult team dynamics and to see breakthrough in negative situations. Mark Batterson (National Community Church, Washington DC) says
God is great not because nothing is too big, but because nothing is too small
God listens to the prayers we cry for our teams.
3. HAVE “TEAM NIGHTS”
1 I have heard of teams who meet on a weekly basis, teams who meet fortnightly, and teams who meet monthly. I don’t think there’s a perfect formula for this one; experiment and figure out what works for your team. It’s the fact that you meet and that you make your gatherings the best they can be that counts. Use this time to share your heart and your passion for the team. Talk about "the team you see" and inspire the team to greater levels of expectation.
4. LEAD BY EXAMPLE
BE the change you want to see! BE the example that you want your team to replicate. Decide what type of culture you want to have, the values you want to promote and be intentional about starting to create it.
5. INVEST IN A CORE TEAM
I was taught that the secret to developing culture was to find a “core team”; a smaller group of people who you can share your heart with, explain the why behind the what, and equip them to shape the culture within the wider team.
6. KEEP PEOPLE IN THE LOOP
Discover a way of communicating that works for your team (ie a group chat or messenger) and keep in touch during the week, not just at the weekend. Try sharing a thought from your daily devotion, a new song you’ve just discovered or just simply give them a heads up about what’s happening with the weekend service. This places value on the person themselves, and not just the gift they bring to the team.
7. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY
This can be something as small as giving someone the role of organising snacks for a rehearsal or setting out water for the vocalists! I am finding that people have a higher level of commitment when entrusted with responsibility. Providing space for people to use their gifts and talents gives an opportunity for them to flourish and be released into their gifting.
8. ALWAYS INVOLVE FOOD!
2 There are many examples of Jesus meeting with people around food – going to Zacchaeu’ house for tea, the feeding of 5,000 and eating with his disciples at the Last Supper! I have found that having snacks or eating a meal together breaks down barriers and creates a more relaxed environment. Last year we had a summer BBQ for our team and encouraged people to bring their families along too – there was such a buzz about the place, with full hearts and full tummys all round!
9. LEARN TO LAUGH WITH YOUR TEAM ALONG THE WAY!
Rehearsals don’t have to be boring! You might think you’re not the hilarious type… that’s okay! Find someone who is, and get them involved in an aspect of the team. Having someone on your team who has a good sense of humour will enhance the team dynamics and can be a great way to grow your team – people will want to be part of a team that enjoy doing life together as a family!