14th November 2019
We have numerous teams at King’s for different areas of ministry – pastoral teams, worship teams, programme teams and so on. Over the years I have led or been part of many of these, but I now find myself on just five key teams, three in my home church and two in Newfrontiers. I lead three of these and sit on the other two. It is important to be aware of the role you have in any team context and adjust accordingly.
The ability to build effective teams is a key skill for leaders, one which hopefully I have become better at with experience. This week I am meeting with eight of our younger staff to talk about the importance of building teams. Here are some of the things I will be encouraging them to consider:
1. Get the right people in the room. I am slow to appoint new people to a team, especially ones that carry a lot of responsibility. Jesus spent a whole night in prayer before appointing the twelve disciples. I try to spend time getting to know someone before inviting them to join a team.
2. It is helpful to ask people to sit in on a team before confirming their position. This gives space for both the new person and the team leader to see if their gifting is a good fit before making their appointment official.
3. Help your team to catch your heart. To do that you need to spend time with them. John Maxwell says, 'A person with experience learns that people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.' For a team to catch your vision, they need to feel they know you. Part of my motivation for meeting with our younger staff members is that I want them to get to know me, catch my heart and so catch the vision for the church.
4. Team culture is set by the leader. The leader sets far more than the agenda! You also set the culture, temperature and pace e.g., relaxed or formal, consultative or authoritarian.
5. Leaders need to give time to future development of the team. By this I mean considering the future needs of a team. Where are the potential gaps? What about diversity? How can I bring in the next generation? Thinking about the next appointment is a key leadership role.
Of course there is a lot more I could say on this subject, but hopefully the group I meet with today will find this helpful.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.