This past Sunday included a Deacons Meeting and a Finance Team Meeting. At the end of the day, I was tired (which is normal for a Sunday) but very encouraged, as both meetings were very positive. I was not surprised, though, as this is normally the case for both of these meetings. While I was thankful for my day, my heart was with a couple of pastor friends that were each facing a very difficult day with similar meetings.
I posted the above feelings on Facebook Sunday evening, which brought personal responses from some other church leaders. Some were positive, others were negative. Then one individual posted about how he was not a deacon or on committees because “it is too much drama.” I talked to another friend today at another church who basically stated the same thing.
I know that my situation is fortunate, but it does not happen by accident. Teams function properly when everyone is on the same page. While my original application was to the church, I also realize it applies to the marriage relationship, parenting, the workforce, and any other setting that involves more than one person. How can everyone get on the same page?
Set aside personal preferences. One of my meetings included 14 other men, while the other involved 8 other individuals. Each person has a difficult personality, background, and preferences, yet the focus of the meeting was how could we be more effective in fulfilling the church’s mission. No one mentioned what they wanted. There were no unilateral decisions. The reason many homes are in chaos is that it is survival of the fittest, rather than everyone working together for the common good.
Focus on the team’s objective. One of the reasons that personal preferences take charge is due to the fact that no one knows what the team is supposed to be doing. Therefore, someone speaks up, “I think we should…” and the rest is history.
Demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. There are going to be difficult team on every team. If you cannot think of who it is, then it is probably you! For a team to work together, your actions are important. As a believer, you should be demonstrating proof of the Spirit’s work in your life. Paul lists the fruits in Galatians 5:22-23. When you work with others, you will need patience, kindness is a must, and self-control can cause you from making a fool of yourself.
Remember why you are on the team in the first place. If you got on the team so you would have a position or prestige, then get off of it quickly or change your motivation. Most, though, in the church get on a team because of their desire to serve. In a marriage, you formed a team because of the love for the other person. You might have taken a job simply as a ways to make ends meet. When the stress picks up, it is easy to forget why you are on the team. Taking a trip down memory lane might help you out.
Not every meeting is as good as the ones that started these thoughts, but they all can be. Most of it is up to you.