#2 Truth Learned: Team Matters
In my last week as pastor of Edinbrook, I am reflecting on my journey as your leader. I’m sharing a “Truth Learned” each day this week–insights I have gleaned through my 16 years as pastor of this WONDERFUL church.
Jesus had good reason to build His team. This inner circle of sold-out partners in ministry was the key to Jesus changing the world! I have seen it for myself through my years at Edinbrook, in much smaller measure, of course.
#2 Truth Learned: Team matters.
I have had the privilege of serving with some of the most amazing people here at Edinbrook. I’ve never seen volunteer servants anywhere like I’ve seen here in the last 16-years. Everything you see has the stamp of committed people — from the building we inhabit, the multitude of pictures that grace it’s walls, to the transformed lives walking our hallways and impacting our communities. I have been blown away so often at the level of commitment and sacrifice demonstrated by true servants at Edinbrook. Thank you!
The Executive Team are the ones, though, that bring order, momentum, and direction to what we all do at Edinbrook. They have taken what God has told us and put it into action. They each do their area of ministry better than I could ever do it myself. They have extended my God-given vision into action. They have made me look good…and more importantly, they’ve honored God by making Him look good!
Here are a few specifics about my experience with the leadership teams I’ve led through the years here:
- Our Team is only as good as the weakest link. If there’s an attitude that’s wrong on the team, the whole team suffers. If someone thinks they’re better than the rest of the team, the whole team is hindered. If someone is giving t 60% percent of themselves, it demotivates the rest that are giving 100%. That’s why there have been times that we have needed to trim the team. Those were some of the most difficult choices I have ever had to make, but they have been some of the most important decisions, too. Every time the tough choice was made, our Team–and with that, Edinbrook’s ministry–was catapulted to whole new level of impact and effectiveness.
- Those that got us to a certain “place” are not necessarily the ones to get us where we need to go. This is one of the most painful parts of Team. I love those that I work with. They become a part of who I am. I’m personally honored that my Team members will follow me, trust me, and toil with me. So when that dreaded fact becomes clear–they have reached the ceiling of their leadership capacity–I know that in order for God’s work to press on, people sometimes have to move on. Every time, this just about killed me. Always, people do not understand and there is a messy thing that happens. But every time, it was exactly what needed to happen for us to move “forward.”
- There are three biggies to consider when developing a Team–character, competency, and chemistry. The first two are obvious since we want people who live what they believe (character) and have the skills and experience necessary to lead well (competency). The chemistry thing is often overlooked, however, but is a critical piece in the equation. In fact, I would say that chemistry has been one of the biggest keys to the Executive Team’s success over the years. We understand one another, enjoy one another, laugh together, and each add to the synergy of what we’re trying to do together. Plain and simple–we like one another! When there is a hitch in our chemistry–and it’s happened at different times and in varying degrees through the years–it always affects our effectiveness as a Team. Big time.
- Team members first have to “be” before than can actually “do.” Our current ETeam is a great example of individuals who are sold out to Jesus. I have seen it so many times–even in my own life–that our effectiveness in ministry is directly related to our intimacy with God. Every Eteam member–Jane Erickson, Karol Peterson, Mark Thurston, Tina Gibbs, Rowena Gastineau, Bob Coombe, Dave Lowe,and Chris Atkins–live by a desperate need to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. When that is wobbly, we get wimpy. And we all know it…so we have regularly encourage one another on to “be” who we need to be in Christ in order to “do” what we are called to do for His church.
Here’s one more benefit to Team. It doesn’t depend on me. That, by the way, gives me great comfort as I move on from here. Edinbrook continues to be led by godly people who know what they’re doing, know how to do it, have heard God’s call on this ministry, and will continue to lead well. Cheer the Eteam on as they lead with strength in this season of change.