I am passionate about working with churches and leaders. I love watching light bulbs come on as pastors discover God’s plan for their churches. Even though I typically go in as the teacher, I seldom ever leave a church without learning something that helps me lead my own church better.
Earlier this year, I had the privilege to work through the StratOp Process with New Song Fellowship Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. We spent the weekend together building a strategic plan to increase their Gospel impact. During the process, one thing really stood out to me:
This church seemed to have an exceptionally healthy staff team environment.
I sat and listened as each one was completely honest about what was working, what wasn’t and what needed to be fixed. While some of the conversations had the potential to hit a nerve, they never did because each person on the team was considerate and caring in their communication. We ended the weekend with a unified vision and a well-built plan.
Here are three strategies I noted from our time together that can help create a healthy team environment (things I am carefully applying to my own team):
1. Create a safe place for your team to be honest. This means no one gets shut down when they share a comment that may be uncomfortable. It takes time to build this trust with people, so don’t be surprised if at first you have to continually remind them they can speak their opinions without repercussions.
2. As you encourage honesty, also encourage kindness. While the truth can sometimes sting, how people deliver it can make it easier or more difficult to receive.
3. Beware of fence-riders. Indecisive people typically ride the fence to avoid confrontation or discomfort. This behavior is contagious to a team. Be on the look out for this behavior and handle it early.
A healthy team environment can drastically shift the dynamic of leadership in your church.
What would your current team say the culture is like?
What other strategies have you used to develop a healthy team culture?