Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Developing Team Members

Since each team member brings unique skills, gifts, and talents to a leadership team, he or she should not only be called upon to contribute those to the work of the team but be encouraged to develop them further. An effective leadership team provides a place where each member can both serve and grow and the church or organization usually provides challenges that foster that growth.

The development of team members requires a significant investment of resources, so why should the church or organization take the initiative to encourage such development?  There are several good reasons.

First, a staff member who is valued will be more engaged.  In his book The Dream Manager, Matthew Kelly points out that the real challenge for any organization is not turnover but engagement.  If someone is appreciated and effectively engaged, he or she will not only stay with the organization but will be motivated to do their best.

Second, if a staff member is respected and his or her personal development is encouraged, he or she will want to give back.  Kelly says, “If you take care of your people, they will take care of you.”  When individual know that they are appreciate, they want to reciprocate.

Third, as we develop “value-added” team members, we will add value to the church or organization.  As we model personal development for team members, we are affirming our desire that every member of our church or organization will seek to achieve their full potential in Christ. 

This personal staff development can take a number of forms.  The supervision provided each team member should embody this concept of development as well as service.  Intentional team building will facilitate the growth of each team member.  The church or organization must also be committed to providing the resources for ongoing learning experiences—educational materials, conference and seminar participation, coaching and mentoring, and formal degree programs.

Someone may raise an objection to this entire approach:  “What if they become so good that they outgrow us?”  This is a valid point, but an opportunity for the church to realize that it is not an island all to itself but part of the Kingdom of God.  Perhaps one of the church’s ministries is to equip and encourage leaders who will be able to invest their capabilities elsewhere and benefit other believers.    For an organization, whether it is faith-based or not, the opportunity to build leaders has immediate benefits but may result in its corporate culture being spread elsewhere at those leaders find other places of service.

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