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Steps to Start a Team

In The Church Building System we talk a lot about TEAMs, because “Building the Church” is all about building people, and growing into well-functioning teams. Ultimately we are a part of one Team — The Body of Christ — that is made up of many parts and many teams that must all work together. But where do these teams even come from? You can’s just go to a store and buy one; you can’t order one online.

How you start something is important. The 5 Steps in “How to Start a Team” serve as the preliminary process for setting up a new team, and for onboarding new team members into an existing team. You can apply them in any church, ministry, or business organization.

One step, if done well, will blend over into the next step. If one of these 5 steps seems difficult, you can always take a step or two back and refocus. You can also use these steps to gauge where you currently are with an individual or a team.

Here’s an overview of the 5 Steps in “How to Start a Team”, which we like to refer to as the “5 x Es”.

1. ENVISION - Mark 1:17

ENVISIONING is the intentional and repetitive process of a leader receiving and clarifying the vision and then sharing the vision with the team.

Envisioning must be done to the degree that the team can also see what the leader sees — including the purpose, goals, or targets. Envisioning creates a common understanding where everyone sees a vision that they can accomplish together. It is an important starting point of working together towards a particular purpose.

People need perspective in order to engage.

Goal: To Recruit

2. ENGAGE - Mark 2:23

To ENGAGE means to connect with people intentionally — learning who they are and how they work. While ENVISIONING helps people to have a sense of direction, ENGAGING will help people to commit. A ‘group of people doing things together’ isn’t really a team yet; it takes time and effort to be a team.

You, as the leader, want to see more of their hearts, minds, attitudes, social skills, interaction with others, and perhaps some strengths and weaknesses. They need to start seeing yours as well. Getting to know each other better is often best done in informal settings where people are more likely to be open.

Goal: To Delegate

3. EMPOWER / ENTRUST - Mark 3:14-15

EMPOWERMENT is delegating and ENTRUSTING a task to someone. Since you are still starting a team here, a simple form of this step is just asking someone to help you with something.

Empowerment is all about “opportunity”. It gives the leader the opportunity to discover more about their skills, potential, willingness, eagerness, and motivation in a work context. And it gives new team members the opportunity to grow and prove themselves — personally and as a team.

Goal: To Facilitate

4. EQUIP - Mark 4:10-14

EQUIPPING is providing the necessary tools, training, knowledge, and experience for someone to succeed. This step includes communicating about and reinforcing team culture, expectations, boundaries, and values. Equipping should be personal and ongoing. It may involve coaching, training, counseling, and correcting. It is not a form of control, but a way to show you care about their growth and development. The process of Equipping will tell you a lot about people’s heart, mindset and attitude towards growth and teamwork.

Goal: To Investigate

5. EVALUATE - Mark 4:37-41

EVALUATION starts with a leader’s SELF-EVALUATION and then moves on to evaluate the PROCESS and then the PEOPLE. This step is an opportunity to honestly consider how you as a leader are doing — personally and then in regards to leading. And it is an opportunity to see how the team members are doing — personally, with their tasks, and as a team.

Evaluation is a form of quality control and a time to ask questions. The answers help a leader gauge how to proceed.

Goal: To Redirect

These steps start to create a culture of teamwork that continues in “How to Become a Team”.

Watch the following teaching to learn more about the steps to Start a Team and how they fit within the overall System of Building the Church.


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