A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NLT).
We will all need to work with or lead a team sometime.
I consider a team to be at least three people. The group dynamics change with three or more involved in a project. Two must communicate together, but with three – two can talk behind the third person’s back.
In teams of multiple people, groups within the group can too easily vie for control, destroying the effectiveness of the team.
Psalm 133:1 says . . .
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
There is power when three or more gain unity of purpose, and since all of us will be a part of a team and probably lead a team, below are five ways to build effective teams.
Group direction and individual decision
Teams work best when they agree on a direction, put together an actionable plan, divvy up the work, and then give individual team members the authority to make decisions in their area of responsibility.
Three cords stay united
A team must process decisions together. There is nothing more defeating for a team member to get a message from other team members with these words, “I talked with “insert name,” and we agree that we should do it this way.”
The cord of three has just been broken by two cords– very defeating for the third cord.
Leaders that release
A great leader doesn’t believe their input is needed in every decision. Leaders must trust the team members.
When I was the pastor of a church with multiple staff members, my job was building an environment of encouragement where team members felt released to make difficult decisions without the fear of me micromanaging their choices.
Joy in mistakes
All great teams make mistakes. Teams learn from victory and defeat.
Just as the book of James tells us to consider it joy when we encounter discouragement, a great team learns from miscues to make better decisions.
Valued teams are time-tested by staying unified through frustration.
Strive for a breakthrough
Jesus said . . .
I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them (Matthew 18:19-20, NLT).
An effective team can be gauged by its unity.
Teams that enjoy working together, look forward to meetings, and come away from lengthy discussions feeling encouraged will have the blessing of God working in and through their prayers.
As a team leader, when teams that I led had a disagreement, I knew the importance of keeping at the discussion until there was a breakthrough moment of agreement.
Scripture promises power to unity. A team is a team, not a group of individuals striving for control.
A cord of three strands — or four or five or twelve — is not quickly broken.