The Leader as a Coach: Building an Effective Team

P Curnow Photo 3 13Mission/Purpose


In order to bring the right people to the Team, you need a clear Mission or Purpose Statement that people can become passionate about and work toward. As Jesus was recruiting His team, His new disciples were privileged to be asked to follow this Rabbi and His new teaching; to be associated with Him, to take on His “yoke”, His colors and designation, to clearly demonstrate to others their direct connection with this teacher.  Jesus in turn distinctly stated, that once a disciple, what their mission/purpose would be: “I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19) He then provided training, mentoring and equipping for them to fulfill His unmistakably stated purpose.

What a great lesson to learn.  The Salvation Army has the best Mission Statement:  To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human need in His name without discrimination. For each of your teams, whether Social Service, Corps, Kroc Center, Conservatory, etc, establish a purpose for that Team.  For Community Relations and Development Teams, we have used this purpose statement: To Raise Visibility, Volunteers and Monies to Enable the Ministry of The Salvation Army.  As a Team member, I now know: what our focus is, and what we are to accomplish for planning and budgeting. I also know what I will be responsible for and held accountable to complete.  What is the purpose of your Team?  Don’t assume they already know!


 There is a wonderful story in I Chronicles 28 and 29 (the structure for a Capital Campaign minus Minute 31) of God giving David a vision for the first Temple. David gave that vision to his advisory board (leaders of the tribes) and to all the people of Israel. They then completed a capital campaign, and raised more monies, materials and good will than needed to complete the Temple. David prayed a thanksgiving prayer (I Chronicles 29:10-13). And then an amazing thing happened: David commanded the people to praise God and thank Him for His provision for the Temple.  This was not a 15 minute, “let’s eat a donut” kind of celebration.  It was a day-long celebration.

You may not have received a vision for a Temple.  You, as a leader, have been led by God to work at and complete some portion of God’s vision for our ministry. Have you stopped to celebrate the provision and the direction God has given you?  Have you stopped to celebrate the milestones of accomplishment along the path to completing the vision?  Have you stopped to celebrate all of your Team members for their energy, commitment, expertise, gifting, and passion to complete the vision? Have you stopped to celebrate your donors, board members, professional staff, volunteers, officers and leaders?  Celebrate Team and individual accomplishments.  Do so, now! Celebrate frequently.  Celebrate with food, fun and most of all, prayers and singing of thanksgiving to God for His provision.

The Fellowship of the Mat

 In Luke 5:17-26 we read a story of profound friendship.  Some men were trying to bring their friend, a paralytic, to Jesus for healing.  Due to the crowd, they could not carry him into the house where Jesus was teaching.  They then carried him to the roof, and lowered him into the presence of Jesus.  They knew their friend would be healed if they could bring him to Jesus.

To truly be Team, we must understand that we were made for Fellowship: The Fellowship of Sharing Together; the Fellowship of Belonging; The Fellowship of Serving Together; and the Fellowship of Suffering Together.*  Galatians 6:2 , I Corinthians 12:26 and Romans 12:10 all direct us to share our hearts with each other.  The Fellowship of the Mat** focuses our Team time on sharing our hearts, our troubles, our problems, our successes and our celebrations.  When we dedicate Team time to consistently bringing each other before Jesus in prayer, we are experiencing true fellowship. I have found the implementation of the Fellowship of the Mat to be the most important Team building step.  As the leader, do not hesitate to be on the Mat, open and vulnerable, yourself. Please consider implementing it today, with your Team.


*”What on Earth am I here for?” Rick Warren

**”Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them” John Ortberg

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