Five Methods for Making Better Team Decisions

In a healthy collaborative environment, the role of individual team members becomes more about leading the discussion around a particular aspect of worship, such as music, rather than dictating what idea will become the final decision for worship.

Five Methods for Making Better Team Decisions
True consensus means losing personal agendas and agreeing that a concept is good for the gospel and good for your own unique congregation. Every aspect of worship can benefit from creative collaboration.
Five Methods for Making Better Team Decisions
True consensus means losing personal agendas and agreeing that a concept is good for the gospel and good for your own unique congregation. Every aspect of worship can benefit from creative collaboration.

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Ministry is a team sport.

Whether designing worship, writing a teaching curriculum or producing a video, we as church leaders both create our best stuff and model God’s call to the body of Christ, when we learn how best to work and live as a team.

There’s just no getting around it: Conflict is an inevitable part of working with other people.

Here are five things you can do to improve your ability to collaborate and make good team decisions together.

1. Eliminate the gatekeeper mentality

Have you ever been in a group decision-making process, and felt like one person had a unbalanced amount of power and control in the room?

Good collaboration begins with mutual respect. This means a balance where each person in the room acknowledges one another’s individual expertise, and individual experts don’t use their expertise to prevent listening and learning.

For example, a graphic artist doesn’t solely decide which visual ideas make it through the gate. The team debates the merits and demerits of each visual idea. The group then, hopefully, comes to a consensus, based on what best suits the worship experience’s direction, not what best suits the graphic artist’s aesthetic tastes.

It means music ministers allow others to participate in song selection, and that pastors are aided in the development of the sermon. Every aspect of worship becomes open for discussion, for each person in the room.

In a healthy collaborative environment, the role of individual team members becomes more about leading the discussion around a particular aspect of worship, such as music, rather than dictating what idea will become the final decision for worship. This can be difficult for dominating personalities, and for those in long-established roles such as preacher and music director.

I have been involved with teams where a particular voice was so strong, that it drowned out others in the room. Without a counter voice or voices against which an idea can be tested, the quality of design suffers. Say for example, someone on the team likes candles in worship planning. This person has strong vocal opinions on why they are theologically good and why they are aesthetically nice, and even does a good job of making pretty candle displays each week. Other team members, tired of fighting this weekly assault, allow “Candle Person” to do his or her thing without resistance.

At first the congregation is moved by the beautiful candle displays.

Over time, though, candles… Get. Really. Old.


More About Len Wilson
Len Wilson has been championing creativity and more effective communication in church life since 1993. In service to this calling, he has worked on four church staffs, written ten books, consulted with dozens of churches, spoken at hundreds of events, founded two media micro-publishing firms, and acquired leadership books at a major publishing house. He is currently Creative Director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Get in Touch: len@lenwilson.us    More by Len Wilson

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Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Collaboration · Communications · Conflict · Decisions · Discussion · Expertise · All Topics

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