In recent years I have had an increasing role within Newfrontiers UK in helping to oversee churches and in doing this I spend a great deal of time talking with eldership and staff teams about team dynamics.
As a church grows team dynamics will become an increasingly important component of success. It has become clear that one guy can see a church grow to around 100 – 150 and many individuals are capable of this. Beyond that point a team-building gift is needed and this ability will determine success in growing a church beyond this point.
One area of team management that many guys identify with is that of the football manager – even if it is only on the level of fantasy football! All the elements are there – the team, with gifted individuals. Some of them are young and talented, but not necessarily with the depth of character you would want. There are issues of allocating places in the team, instilling a common philosophy of football. Behind the team are the directors, the fans and the media and then there are issues of finance and budget, injuries and the ‘shelf-life’ of the team members. You need a youth team policy. And what happens when you import a super-star from another team, someone from another league? How do you and the team handle the change? Then there is the effect of the manager – he works with the team all week but his 15 minutes of input at half-time can turn the game. Certain teams have ‘team spirit’ – that dynamic of being with each other that gives them that ‘extra’ something in what they do. Looking at a team in a church context it is easy to see parallels.