I'll be honest, when I see a headline I'm interested in, I often will try to "power-read" the article, looking for some quick nugget I can grab and look to apply down the road, before returning to my inbox to sort through the rest of that week's waiting emails. Of course, I'm not learning much with that approach.
In my years of working in church media and before that, I have learned that everyone is different.
Team building is hard work.
Even with a solid plan and clear vision, you are still likely to fail. At least on the first half dozen attempts. Here's what I thought I'd do this week. I would search online for the term, "TEAM WORK," specifically on this site, and from there, proceed to read every article, pulling the content together into a detailed summary of all the best ideas.
I can assure there were lots of great ideas
Among them was a piece by David Leuschner, the former Executive Director of Technical Arts for Gateway Church in Dallas, who wrote a great article on building a quality team, encouraging us to live life together, meet regularly and to have fun, Team Development: Building A Quality Team.
Gregory Kayne, the Media Arts Director at Bethel Christian Fellowship, shared the importance of playing for a winning team. He encouraged short-term, high impact projects to create a sense of excitement and participation, to bond a team together, in Everyone Wants to Play on A Winning Team.
Eric Bramlett, the Creative Arts Director at Community Christian Church, encouraged us not to see pastoral staff as the enemy of our good ideas, but to work with them to create a team beyond media and tech, one that reaches the whole church, with Avoid Perceiving Your Boss as The Common Enemy.
Van Metschke, who previously worked at Magnolia Church, wrote five keys to building a team in church tech. Being clear about your expectations. Making sure they are well trained on the equipment and know what they are doing. Knowing the core value of the church and how they apply to the role they are playing. When the team wins they are part of that win, church media is a team sport! Your own team is your best evangelists for recruiting new people to serve. These were broken down in his piece, 5 Important Team Building Strategies in Church Tech.
Greg Stovell, the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, wrote a challenging and fresh article on the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and the need for us to lead by example (I hated that one way too hard, right?) This piece was titled, Taste, See, A Better Way of Building God’s Kingdom.
Michael Edgar Myers, the Founding Director for Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries, went deep on a thought-provoking challenge to lead our teams like Jesus led His apostles, with The Team Jesus Template, whereby a clear vision, expressed widely, features a small group poured into with scripture and prayer, delegated tasks, with regular feedback, direct and indirect admonishment and ultimate release for them to go out an train others.
Myers then wrote a great follow up to this, The “Yes and…” of Ministry, discussing how developing teams by focusing on the "YesAND," allowing for creativity and disagreement without shutting down the flow of good ideas. No doubt a critical piece of working with independent creative people.
Then lastly, the fantastic Debbie Keough, the former tech director at Coast Hills Community Church, wrote one of my favorite articles, It’s Not About the “I,” on serving as a leader to your team. The need to have a strong vision, not just for the team as a whole, but for each individual on the team. That trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Creating a culture of inclusion and allowing people to learn and then train creates a team that is always growing. There is a lot in this article that I keep circling back to.
These eight articles I have referenced above could keep you working and building your team for years to come.
In my years of working in church media and before that, working as a touring crew to musicians, I have learned that everyone is different. Creative people love their independence and love to finish the day with a sense of achievement.
I love working with creatives, and I hope you keep this page bookmarked and come back to the ideas these creative souls shared again and again, because working as a team brings so much more than we can bring as individuals.