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 as I lead my own church.
Earlier this year, I had the privilege to go through a StratOp 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 about their leadership team; they had a very healthy team environment.
I sat and listened as each one was completely honest about what was working, what wasn't and what needed fixing. While some of the conversations had the potential to hit a nerve, they never did because each person on the team was nice, in terms of how they shared their heart. We ended the weekend with a unified vision and a well-built plan.
Here's three takeaways I discovered from our time together that can help create a healthy team environment (things that I am applying to my own team):
- As a pastor/leader, encourage your team to be honest, but also encourage niceness. While the truth can sometime sting, being nice makes it easier to receive.
- Create a safe place for the team to be honest; this means no one gets shut down when they share a comment that may be uncomfortable.
- Beware of fence riders. Indecisive people typically ride the fence to avoid confrontation or uncomfortableness. This behavior is very contagious to a team.