8 ways to build a stronger church team
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
They’re committed, dedicated, hard-working, loyal and steadfast in their determination to serve the church. They come in early, stay late, and pour their energy into their work.
They can also get exhausted and discouraged to the point of giving up. Prevent burnout and improve team morale by implementing these tips for a stronger church team.
No. 1: Show your appreciation
Share a specific story about something one of your team members did that you appreciated and that impacted someone’s life. Be specific and say thank you in front of the whole team and/or congregation.
No. 2: Have fun
Cater lunch for your team, then eat with them and talk with several people. Catch up on family news, listen to stories of their kids’ latest achievements, and relax as a team.
No. 3: Listen
We all long to be heard and understood — your team is no different. Make a concerted effort to solicit and listen to their concerns.
If you haven’t responded well to their open honesty before, you may need to apologize and let them know you’re going to change that before they’ll feel comfortable sharing things with you.
You’ll gain valuable information as you listen to your team members. They’ll bring great suggestions, new ideas, and will help you solve problems all because you’re taking the time to listen.
No. 4: Apologize
Being in a leadership role doesn’t exclude us from making mistakes. When you fall short, own the issue and apologize. You might need to apologize to an individual or perhaps to the whole team.
Whatever the case, do it as soon as possible. Your team members will appreciate your humility and will respect you more, not less, when you accept responsibility and apologize.
No. 5: Communicate, then communicate some more
It’s imperative that you communicate with your team. If you casually mention a huge new program without any details, they’ll get concerned. If you say you’re going to make some organizational changes, they’ll wonder if they need to update their resume.
People tend to think the worst and become frustrated when there’s a lack of communication. Tell them what you expect and why.
Invite them to ask questions if they’re not sure about something. Don’t withhold information unnecessarily. If it’s not confidential and they need to know — tell them.
No. 6: Make sure they have time to recharge
Due to the nature of ministry work, there may be seasons of long hours, including weekends. When that happens, find a way to give staff time off to rest and recharge.
They’ll come back refreshed and will be more productive (and appreciative that you recognized that they needed the break).
No. 7: Invest in your team
Allocate funds in the budget to provide training that will help them become more effective in their work. Many online courses provide excellent material at a reasonable price.
Sending staff members to conferences can also be a useful learning experience. When possible, host a training session yourself. Buy books for your team and lead a group book study once a quarter.
Don’t expect them to just figure it out — provide them with the tools and information they need to be successful.
No. 8: Take care of yourself
You need rest and time off as well. Use your vacation days, leave the office at a reasonable hour, and don’t answer emails at all hours of the night.
You need to be at your best to lead a team effectively. That’s not going to happen unless you’re intentional about taking time to rest.
These are just a handful of ways you can, with minimal effort, build a stronger church team. Along the way, make sure your team knows you care about them as individuals (not just as worker bees).
You can communicate that by showing your appreciation, listening (and acting on what you hear), and developing them. They’ll be more effective and are less likely to burn out if you take these simple steps.
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