How to Keep Your Team from Going Adrift

How to Keep Your Team from Going Adrift

How to Keep Your Team from Going Adrift

It happened . . . somehow, you lost your way. Team members have jumped ship, and you’re sailing right past your ministry goals. Despite robust vision and mission statements, your ministry seems to be floating adrift.

What went wrong?

It could be that your ministry values have not been thoughtfully and thoroughly articulated to your team. In any organization, church, or ministry there are certain values always at play. Those values are a common anchor point to which everyone can tie their work.

Values are the things that you care about most. Values are the deeper motivation underlying your vision and mission.

A good corporate-world example of values is great customer service. Take Starbucks, for example. Their mission is to sell you copious amounts of coffee, but the way they accomplish that goal is through serving up a customized experience with a smile.

In a ministry context, an example of values is Christ-like service. Your vision might be to change the world with the Great Commission, and your mission might be to spark church planting movements. But the way you reflect your core value of Christ-like service, and thereby accomplish your vision and mission, is through humbly serving all those with whom your church or organization comes into contact.

This means that guests to your church see people serving, and are encouraged to join in themselves. This means that everyone—from the pastor to support staff—conduct their daily responsibilities with an attitude of Christ-like service. It doesn’t matter if they are teaching, leading, or simply returning a phone call.

All of your daily activities are characterized by shared values. And when your team isn’t working from the same shared understanding of what matters most, you might see rough waters ahead.

Here are a few reasons why:

Shared values transcend the ebb and flow of vision and mission.

As your ministry grows over time, your vision and mission will probably morph and change. Values, however, should not.

Shared values transcend the changing tide of trends.

If you spend most of your energy chasing the “waves” of ministry trends that align with your vision, you’ll quickly find yourself adrift. You might think you’re headed toward your destination but find yourself blown off course without common anchor points.

Shared values helps your ministry endure.

A brand that fails to reflect the organization’s values is harder to trust and harder still to sustain.

So, how do you get everyone on board?

Don’t assume that everyone on your team shares your values. Do assume that your values need to be communicated often and clearly!

Having trouble deciding what your values are? Check out these three guiding questions!

Map out some ministry checkpoints.

To gauge how well your team is sharing your values, put some tangible ministry markers in place. Observe your team, get feedback from those you’re serving, and then evaluate the information as a team. Find out how the team thinks they are doing and what areas they think they can improve on as whole.

As a team leader, it’s your job to ensure your team is tied to common anchor points. Your vision and mission depend on it.

Kerry Bural loves helping ministries, nonprofits, churches, schools and leaders gain momentum and enlarge their footprint. He and his wife, Deborah, reside in Tennessee with their two sons and live near their beautiful daughter and son-in-law.