We recently discussed a new trend in growing churches- small groups- and how they are very similar to teams or pods in businesses. Today, I want to explore ways you can make teams part of your business dynamic. We will look at principles carried out by churches who are successful with their small groups.
WORK TOWARD A COMMON GOAL.
Different people with many different personalities and backgrounds merge together in the church. Leadership must constantly help their group members feel engaged by encouraging them to love each other as they should. Ultimately, all churches have a vision of reaching people for Christ. Church staff cast the vision to church leadership (elders, deacons, and ministry leaders). These leaders then bring the vision to small group leaders who in turn push the vision to the members.
In business, we must focus on the vision and the work we do for the greater good. It’s important to keep the vision front and center so that teams stay focused on what matters most. Focusing on the vision helps us put aside our differences and work toward a common goal. You must talk the vision, walk the vision, and make it an integral part of your company’s culture. As a bonus, focusing on the company’s vision will help develop cohesiveness within teams while also avoiding a cliquish mentality.
CREATE AN ESTABLISHED STRUCTURE.
Churches who successfully utilize small groups create a structure that works with their member’s culture and lifestyles. This may look like having small groups that are demographically based (like grouping by age, place in life or marital status). Or it could look like having small groups that are geographically based (so that members can attend a small group close to their home or work). Some churches create a blend or something that’s entirely different. What matters most is that they intentionally create this structure based on what they know about their people.
For your teams to flourish, they need to have an established structure. This might look like a buddy system, a peer system, departmental teams, work pods, etc. Find ways to make teams a part of your culture and workflow. The goal is for the teams to feel completely natural.
IMMEDIATELY HELP YOUR NEW EMPLOYEES PLUG INTO A TEAM.
Pastors use sermon-based curriculum to help newcomers as well as members to integrate into small groups. Attenders hear the sermon in worship and are given the chance to flesh it out and live it out with a small group. By making small groups attractive in all discussions, small groups become the lifeblood of the church culture.
When you have a new employee join your business, immediately plug them into a team or pod. As they watch you and other leaders demonstrate commitment to the business model, they will be encouraged to commit to the model as well. Have leadership within each team help the members get to know each other as they live their work lives together.
MENTOR POTENTIAL LEADERS.
Small group leaders in churches watch for potential leaders of new small groups. Elders watch small group leaders for potential elders. Church staff observes elders for potential ministry leaders.
As a business leader you must constantly be on the lookout for possible leaders. You’ll know it when you see it! Once you recognize their potential as a leader, begin recognizing their strengths and trusting their expertise to make the most of their abilities. Spend time mentoring them so that you can recognize what they are passionate about and provide ongoing training and leadership. Don’t leave new-found leaders hanging out there on their own. Keep them engaged. Teach your leadership to recognize potential leaders in their teams and create a step-by-step plan to work them up the leadership ladder.
Constantly shoot for this goal. Empower them with the ability to succeed. Empower them with meaningful work that supports the company’s common goal.
Do you have thoughts about small groups or teams? I would love to hear from you!