What is it that aligns a team?
A common purpose. A common goal. A common set of values. In the church, it’s easy for us to focus on the purpose (mission) and the goal (vision), but sometimes, we fail to look at the common values. This is what I call the “how shall we live” discussion. Diversity on the team is a must but that will often lead to tension as different personalities clash.
Here’s why having team values are important:
Team Values help align behaviours. Every one will come at their jobs differently. Team values say “this is how we’ll behave”. It’s helpful because you can call people out when they’re behaviour is not in alignment with the values without making them feel like they are the bad person.
Team values bring objectivity. No longer does it become “the way the boss likes it”. Everyone is subject to a set of operational values that determines the success of the team. It allows you to say, “if you work at _________ church, then you need to be ready to ___(insert values here)_____”.
Team values set a corporate culture that trumps personal preference. We all have a way we like to operate but when we subscribe to a set of values, they trump our own moods and feelings. Great teams attract big personalities. This is great until they begin to bend the team culture to their own personal preferences. Team values allow you to recruit strong leaders and have them come under a specific set of values. Trust me, they’ll thank you for this.
Below are some values that I’ve curated from different churches around our district:
At ______ church, we’re all in. We don’t have silos or departments. If it needs to get done, we do it.
At _______ church, we have each others’ back. We don’t throw each other under the bus and we don’t hang each other out to dry. If we disagree, it’s behind closed doors and we always work towards a solution.
At ________ church, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have fun. We laugh. We enjoy each other because we get to do this!
At _______ church, we are passionate about the difference that Jesus makes in peoples’ lives. We get excited when people follow Jesus, serve Jesus, give their time and money, get baptized, and join a small group. I mean, we get through the roof, over the moon excited. Why? Because we believe following Jesus is the best decision anyone could make.
At _________ church, we are honest and integral. We believe the Bible is God’s road map to life and we don’t stray from it. We practice the spiritual disciplines outlined in scripture. How do we expect others to follow if we’re not modeling this for them?
At _________ church, we build people. People are our most important asset. We will love, pour into, train, equip and value people. Relationships are key and they will always come before policy and program.
At _________ church, we talk and tell. We model lifestyle evangelism because we believe that the most important thing we can do is prepare a soul for eternity. We are intentional about building relationships with the unchurched and we invite people constantly.
You may have a staff team or you may have a volunteer team. Regardless, I encourage you to develop a set of team values and then teach them, re-teach them, and teach them again every 4 months until Jesus returns.