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14th November 2019

Building Teams

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.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
12:30


15th August 2019

Looking Ahead


Forward planning is something I do quite instinctively, but my experience of managing others has shown me this does not come naturally to most of us.

If you are aware of the Myers Briggs personality test, you may know that this can be a particular challenge for those with a ‘P’ (Perceiving) preference in their decision-making processes. People with this preference (such as my wife!) like to have as much information as possible before making a decision, leaving them free to be flexible and responsive. Or as I like to put it, not wanting to commit in case a better option comes along! Joking apart, these are good qualities, but make planning and committing your diary in advance a problem. You won’t be surprised to learn that I have a ‘J’ (Judging) preference in my Myers Briggs – I like to make decisions quickly and have things settled in advance. Deb is always encouraging me to enjoy the moment and not spend so much time thinking about the future!

When we have busy lives with multiple responsibilities, I believe detailed planning is essential. It is important to pause from time to time, step back and take a moment to look ahead. This morning I was asked if I could speak at a seminar next January. I immediately got my diary out and was delighted to be able to accept, knowing that I have already pencilled in my other commitments.

These are some of the key principles I take into consideration when planning ahead:

1. Days off and holidays are first to go in.
2. Date nights with Deb are next.
3. Local church responsibilities go in after this.
4. Any ministry outside King’s fits in around what is already in the diary.

I give priority to family and home church responsibilities over any outside or trans-local ministry. Once these have been met, I then have the freedom to serve churches beyond King’s, following boundaries agreed with both Deb and the elders and trustees.

Whatever our personality preferences, whether we like to be very ordered or more flexible, I believe some good planning helps us meet our responsibilities and avoid overcommitting.


The original version of this blog was posted in May 2018. Steve is away for a couple of weeks and will be back in September. 


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
15:00


10th May 2018

Looking Ahead

The importance of planning has been on my mind this week, as I have my annual appraisal next Tuesday. This is carried out by two of our elders and trustees, and I will be presenting my Higher Level Objectives Paper, a document which reports on the last church year and sets out our key objectives for the next, including a detailed financial budget. As part of the appraisal process, I will also be presenting a copy of my 2018 to 2019 diary.

Forward planning is something I do quite instinctively, but my experience of managing others has shown me this does not come naturally to most of us. If you are aware of the Myers Briggs personality test, you will know this can be a particular challenge for those who have a ‘P’ (Perceiving) preference in their decision-making processes. People with this preference (such as my wife!) like to have as much information as possible before making a decision, leaving them free to be flexible and responsive. Or as I like to put it, not wanting to commit in case a better option comes along! Joking apart, these are good qualities, but they can make planning and committing your diary in advance a problem! You won’t be surprised to learn that I have a ‘J’ (Judging) preference in my Myers Briggs – I like to make decisions quickly and have things settled in advance. Deb is always encouraging me to enjoy the moment and not spend so much time thinking about the future!

When we have busy lives with multiple responsibilities, I believe detailed planning is essential. It is important to pause from time to time, to step back and take a moment to look ahead. This morning I was asked if I could speak at a seminar next January. I immediately got my diary out and was delighted to be able to accept, knowing that I have already pencilled in my other commitments.

Here are some of the key principles I take into consideration when planning ahead:

1. Days off and holidays are first to go in.
2. Date nights with Deb are next.
3. Local church responsibilities go in after this.
4. Any ministry outside King’s fits in around what is already in the diary.

I give priority to family and home church responsibilities over any outside or trans-local ministry. Once these have been met, I then have the freedom to serve churches beyond King’s, following boundaries agreed with both Deb and the elders and trustees.

Hopefully, the two people I meet with for my appraisal next week will be happy with the diary I show them. But I know that submitting it to them, discussing it and taking their advice, will be a very helpful process. Whatever our personality preferences, whether we like to be very ordered or more flexible, I believe good planning helps us meet our responsibilities and avoid overcommitting.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
11:30


8th March 2018

Seasons of Life

Last Friday marked the end of a season for me and Deb: our youngest son Sam had his final GCSE and so wore his school uniform for the last time ever! It felt like a milestone moment. For this family, Friday meant that after 20 years there will be no more uniform to wash or school shirts to iron – our three boys really are growing up and a significant season of our lives is drawing to a close.

Life never remains the same, especially if you have children. As the years pass, you move through different seasons, and each will bring its own opportunities and challenges. A number of years ago, I came across the writing of Gordon MacDonald, and I have found his observations on this subject extremely helpful. In his book A Resilient Life, he suggests that each decade of our lives raises different underlying questions and that ‘...knowing them helps us to deal with people sensitively, and gives us a better understanding of how to build a larger view of our own lives.’ The questions we ask ourselves in our 20s will vary greatly to those we ask in our 40s or 50s. Here is a sample of some of the key questions MacDonald suggests are raised as we move through the decades:

20s – What kind of a man or woman am I becoming? What will I do with my life?
30s – How do I prioritise the demands being made on my life?
40s – What can I do to make a greater contribution to my generation?
50s – Why is time moving so fast? How do I deal with my failures and successes?
60s – When do I stop doing the things that have always defined me? Do I have enough time to do all the things I’ve dreamed about in the past?
70s and 80s – Is there anything I can still contribute? Am I ready to face death?

Do any of these resonate with you? His book is well worth a read if you haven’t come across it before. It has helped me understand myself and others better. Knowing what season I am in, what lies ahead and the questions I am likely to be asking, enables me to anticipate and prepare for the opportunities and challenges that are coming, and to embrace each season I live through.

So what season are you in at the moment? It is worth some reflection.

This blog was first posted on June 23rd 2016. 


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
09:00


Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. 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.

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