The Value of Teams


In order to have an effective team-based ministry there are six team characteristics that should be present.

A great strength at M D Anderson is their team-based approach to health care. I have seen cardiologists, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, and oncologists. They are in contact with each other, respect each other’s expertise, and decide together what is best for a patient. In addition they have partnered with the excellent health care professionals I usually see near my home. They have granted me flexibility in changing my schedule to not interfere with work or other commitments I felt I needed to honor.

Effective ministry also will be team- based. Seven years ago I began my journey with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. My first arena of training was in Building Powerful Ministry Teams. I still use that training today. The premise of this approach to teams is the indispensable presence of six team characteristics. First is the acceptance of a clear, compelling, and common purpose. Second is the awareness of clear roles, which necessitates interdependence. Third is the acceptance of leadership who provide structure for work. Fourth is the use of effective processes. Fifth is a climate of solid relationships so people can plan and solve problems together. Sixth is excellent communication.

The exact model we use for team-based ministry is not as important as the concepts behind it. We can accomplish more together than we can alone. Effective work results from trusting each other and depending on each other. We are stronger because of our differences if those differences are managed appropriately. Team-based ministry has several biblical precedents. A good team will produce good results. 

Written by Dr. Alan Woodward 

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