At last week’s Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference, I offered, for the first time, a workshop entitled: “Culture and Team Building.” This is one of the chapters in the upcoming Emotionally Healthy Leader book, but I was taken aback by the incredibly large response of participants.
The following is a brief summary of the four characteristics of emotionally healthy culture and team building that I shared:
- Work Performance and Personal Spiritual Formation are Inseparable. We are not simply concerned with our team’s ability to do their tasks well and fulfill their job description – be it paid of unpaid. We are deeply concerned if they are growing spiritually in Jesus. It is the first question we ask when we meet with them. And we invest time, energy, and money in their personal growth and formation.
- The Elephants in the Room are Acknowledged and Confronted. An “elephant in the room” refers to an inappropriate or immature behavior that remains unacknowledged. They emerge all the time – often at the most inopportune times. Rather than shrink away in fear of addressing them, we see them as mentoring moments to raise the spiritual maturity level of the person, our team, and our ministry.
- Time and Energy are Invested in the Team’s Personal Spiritual Development. We take time in our meetings to feed and mentor our teams. At New Life staff planning days, for example, we set aside half our day (3x a year) to investing in their development. We encourage ministries within the church to follow a similar pattern. One of the reason’s people have always joined Geri’s marriage leadership team is her constant investment into their marriages and lives. We may not be able to pay marketplace salaries, but we offer something much more valuable – personal development to become more like Jesus.
- The Quality of People’s Marriages and Singleness is Foundational. Because we really believe that Christian marriage and singleness are meant to be living signs of God’s love for the world, and that this aspect of our lives is the loudest gospel message we preach, we purposefully engage our teams about their singleness or marriage. We ask questions. We invest resources and time to encourage and equip them, knowing the health in our ministry is inseparable from the health level of their marriages and singleness.
This may be new territory that will feel uncomfortable – at least initially. But one thing is sure: you will meet God in unexpected ways and unleash new beginnings that will bless you, your team, your ministry, and the world you seek to serve for Christ.