In what may seem like a digression from my series on the church I now plan to spend some while speaking about teamwork.
A couple of previous posts may help to give useful background, firstly one on barriers to community, and secondly one on the one-anothers of the bible. These posts are part of a theme on the importance of teamwork to the church, which is itself the thing that will change the world.
Why is this so important? Because it is my belief that at its essense church is team. We stated that churches led by teams of very different people will change the world. Why is teamwork critical?
This question has been answered by a couple of cliches that just happen to be true Together Everyone Achieves More and There’s no one of us smarter than all of us. If changing the world is the goal, then it is too much for any one man to bear.
But there is more to it that pragmatics, God has always existed in a team
Our team life is not just for convenience but to reflect the trinity. All teams need structure and order just as the trinity does, God sends the Son and the two of them send the Spirit. Like in our teams, each member of the trinity has a different role but equal value.
A well functioning team is self-sufficient and reaches out not out of desperation but overflow. God wasnt lonely in eternity as he had the relationships between the three persons of the trinity to satisfy him. We should want new members in our churches to bless them not make up for deficiencies in the team life!
What does a high-performing team look like? They need all of the following things
-Shared vision or goal
-Sense of team identity
-Competent team members
-Mutual trust and respect
-Inter-dependence among team members
Interactions between team members are crucial to this process. Getting a team right is all about interactions. In the average team there are many many interactions- just look at the image which only illustrates a very small team. The potential for missunderstanding to creep into teams grows the larger the team!
Why differences are important. Our teams must not, however, consist of all the same sorts of people. A timeless principle of human relations is that people tend to like people like themselves. We can try and squeeze people into roles that don’t suit them, although it is important to remember that different people can fulfil the same role in different ways dependant on their personality.
Different people bring different strengths to the team, and different people struggle with different sins. Some types of people clash with other types or fail to bring out the best in them. Sometimes, it is helpful for us to spend some time, as we will be here thinking about exactly how these differences between people look.
There are different ways of defining people
-Phlegmatic, choleric etc.
-Belbin Team roles
The tool I will use in this series of posts is “Social styles”, which focusses on how we tend to relate to others. The issue addressed is interactions rather than temperament. BUT, it is important to remember two things, firstly people don’t tend to fit neatly into boxes and secondly we CAN adapt and change.
If you would like to explore which “Social Style” you are please take the questionaire, when you are complete you should return here.
This series on Social Styles in church continues at recognising differences