Building a Great Team

2004 Detroit Pistons
Photo by Dave Hogg

My all-time favorite sports team to watch were the 2004 Detroit Pistons. Not only did they win the NBA Championship that year, but they did it as a team. Any given night, you never knew who was going to put the most points on the board, and they dominated the LA Lakers who fielded stars like Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton. By working hard and playing as a team, they came out on top.

We’re getting ready for a new season of ministry at HMCC, and I’m always amazed that God gives me the privilege to be part of such a great team. From our staff, coordinators, and LIFE Group leaders, to those serving on ministry teams and every member of our church, I’m reminded every week that Jesus doesn’t build his church with all-stars or celebrities – he does it with teams.

What does it take to build a great team? Here are a few things that I’m looking for in our church.

  1. Commitment to the Vision: A successful team is striving for something greater than themselves – something so big that a lack of commitment dooms it to failure. There is no room for straddling the fence or second-guessing. Everyone needs to be on board.
  2. Diversity: Teams that have diverse backgrounds, cultures, and abilities produce an environment of creativity, and are able to solve complex problems.  The body of Christ needs everyone to be involved.
  3. Ownership: A healthy team knows that we’re all “owners”. There is no “that’s not my job” or “that’s someone else’s problem” attitude. If we all own the team, we will work hard and do whatever it takes to succeed.
  4. Selflessness: Team players don’t seek the spotlight or try to assert themselves over others. They know that the team wins or loses together, and that it’s not about any individual. We follow Jesus’ example of humble servanthood.
  5. Courage: You could also call this faith. A team is assembled to face a great obstacle. If it were easy, everyone would do it. We need to courageously face the challenges that God places in front of us, and believe that He will come through for us.
  6. Flexibility: Expect the unexpected. A great team can adapt and adjust to surprises, and not get caught up in the plan that no longer fits.
  7. Positive Attitude: Being honest about problems is necessary. Complaining and discouraging others isn’t. Sometimes the biggest contribution someone can make to a team is to bring their energy and positive attitude. A defeated attitude is inevitably followed by a defeated vision.
  8. Respect: Great team players respect one another, especially in moments of tension or disagreement. If we’re on the same team, we should build each other up, rather than tearing each other down.

Are you investing in building a great team?