We can’t fulfill our purpose without an army of people dedicated to the mission of bringing people who are far from God close to him.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. —Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Our mission here at VOUS is simple—bring people who are far from God close to him. This is the purpose of VOUS Church. This is the mission of the global Church. And we can’t do this without a team. The fact that local churches need to build teams around this grand mission is not news. It’s something we’ve always known. When we decide to implement specific strategies to build our teams, we’re required to run at a pace that’s different from before. We’re beginning to do some things we’ve never done. We’re stepping into a new era which is going to require a new focus on teams. We can’t fulfill our purpose without an army of people dedicated to the mission.
During VOUS Conference, a lot of us felt the weight of being responsible for too much. Although we didn’t fail, there were too many single points of failure, too many things that hinged on just one person or a small group of people to execute. I’m more fired up than I’ve ever been about building teams. Not just servant leader teams, but a core team of people around me. High-capacity, high-performance people that I can align myself with. I recommend you do the same. We need this core team of people to both propel a vision and for our own well-being and personal growth.
But we can’t just build a team. We need to build the right team. We have to build P.O.W.E.R. teams.
On the teams we want to build, passion is never an option. “Passion is our pursuit” is one of our values here at VOUS for a reason. You’re either on the bus or you’re not. If I’m looking for someone to lead the parking team, I have to find someone who gets fired up about being in the parking lot, connecting with people, and building community.
To stay committed, people need skin in the game. Give them something to own. Set an expectation that they deliver on it. We don’t say “my” at VOUS, but if there ever was a time to say it, it would be here. People need to think, “This is my job. My role. My team. My responsibility. The buck stops with me.”
P.O.W.E.R. teams are made up of people who won’t burn out because they’re intentional about finding time to rest. When I build a team, I’m looking for people that will let me know when they can and when they can’t. My part as a leader, however, is to make sure I’m creating and maintaining an environment where it feels safe to say no. We can’t become successful at the expense of people’s health. Build a team that will communicate when they need a break.
Results matter and we expect results from our team—but we must do it strategically. Build a culture where results are coming to you without you having to ask for them. Be proactive in reporting and forthcoming with information. Information should be flowing to you, not the other way around. Your team should think that way and want to perform that way.
Here’s the catch—people will lead how they are led. If you’re not sharing information with your leaders, don’t expect people you lead to either. When you appoint someone to your core team, set expectations and hold them accountable. Make it clear how they can help, what you need to know, and how they can get the task done.
The most important factor of P.O.W.E.R. teams is relationship. Relationship is what’s going to help drive everything else we’ve talked about.
There are three levels to relationships: vulnerability, trustworthiness, and partner-focused. What level are you at with your core team?
How do we find people to join our core teams?
- Look at your current roster and pick performance-oriented people. Position these people for maximum impact. Put your best people on your best opportunities.
- Recruit doers, not thinkers. It’s easier to educate a doer than it is to activate a thinker.
- Orchestrate. Clearly define how something is done so everyone is on the same page.
- Evaluate. Make things better. But avoid the trap of only evaluating, because you’ll constantly be making changes and your team members will be living in a state of instability and confusion. People want to clearly understand what they are part of and how they can help.
The best results come when everyone in the group is doing what’s best for both themselves and the group simultaneously. You have needs, and they have needs. Instead of heading in the opposite direction, align needs so it works for everyone.
I want to see our team stay healthy. I want to see us stay fit. I want to see us in this for the long run. But in order to do that, we’re going to have to be driven to bring more POWERful people on board.