How To Build A Team Spirit

How To Build A Team Spirit

In the last post we looked at team spirit as a means to motivation for ministry.  In this post we are going to consider how to build a team spirit in yourself and in your church.

A Common Vision Builds Team Spirit

I put a video of Craig Groeschel at the end of the last post explaining that the two most effective ways of building a team spirit are a common vision and a common enemy.  Let’s look at each of those, beginning with a common vision.

Adult Baptisms

In my ministry in California my predecessor as pastor built a vision for ministry.  He himself had the spiritual gift of evangelism, and as a result, the church regularly experienced the testimonies of new believers.  The church liked this, and caught the vision of being a church that was all about seeing the lost found and the hurting healed. That vision allowed us to make many changes in facility, in worship style, and in the program of the church.  People sacrificed in order to fulfill the mission of the Kingdom.

This is one answer to title of this post: how to build a team spirit in your church.  Create a vision for what you feel in your heart God is calling your church to become.  Preach it.  Teach it.  Live it.  And many will grasp it and help you live it out in your congregation.

A Common Enemy Builds Team Spirit

Building a team spirit by naming an enemy is most often used negatively.  In war, for instance, aggressors create names for the enemy that dehumanizes them.  Aggressors tell stories, many of which are not true, about the atrocities of the enemy.

While I write this, Russia is involved in a war in Ukraine.  They preceded the attack with misinformation about how the government in Ukraine was full of Nazis, and so, the government needed cleansing.  In various wars that we in the United States have been engaged, leaders encouraged soldiers to call the enemy “gooks”, or “nips” or other such terms.

So, this strategy of building team spirit is often used negatively.  There is, though, some powerful ways this can be used positively.  Name the enemy as racism, or prejudice or injustice, and people will come to the fore to battle.  Right now I am serving in a church that made a commitment to stop injustice in our community.   The congregation brings respect and justice to neglected and abused people.

Do you want to know how to build a team spirit in your church?  Find an appropriate enemy to battle.

Focusing on Common Experience Builds Team Spirit

People have a tendency to focus on where we are different when we discuss issues.  It is a powerful experience to first identify where we have things in common.

Stephen Covey

One of my favorite authors was Stephen Covey.  His best book, in my opinion, is Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  One of those habits is to seek a “win-win” in disputes.  I once watched him at a conference get two people up on stage who had very different views on abortion.  One of them believed  abortion on demand was the right law.  The other committed to outlawing all abortion.  Covey began by having them identify those areas where they had something in common.  Both agreed that abortion is not the best option.  They both agreed that the Church would have to step up and support unwed mothers to a much greater extent if abortion were outlawed.  And both agreed that there are other aspects to being “pro-life”, such as universal health care, support for childcare for working parents, etc.  They didn’t change their basic outlook on the issue, but they came much closer just by identifying some things they could both get behind.  This is how to build a team spirit in your congregation.  Help them identify where they have things in common.

Paul Using Commonality to Build Team Spirit

I think the Apostle Paul used this strategy for building team spirit in the church in Corinth.  Deep divisions characterized this church.  One of the areas of disagreement was the priority of spiritual gifts.  And so, Paul wrote them these words, emphasizing what held the ministry together, as recorded in I Corinthians 12:

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Paul called their attention to the fact that the commonality in all of their experience was God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is my hope that this post gives you some ideas about how to build a team spirit in your church.