4) Teams!

4) Teams!

As previously defined, we are developing into ministry practitioners.  A ministry practitioner is a person who:

  • Understands that all ministry is a “work in progress”
  • Is devoted to continual learning, practice, and perfecting of ministry
  • Has a systematic approach to applying ministry
  • Is committed to a fellowship of practitioners who work together to perfect ministry


The following information applies to the above definition.


Every organization has at least three members:


1) those who want to be involved;

2) those who want to be present, and

3) those who want to be affiliated. 


Numbers 2 and 3 are not leadership.


There are typically members who think that they are number 1 members, but when they find that titles accompany responsibility, they are not all that interested and they tend to fade to level 3.  The leadership hall will help us identify these people by giving them responsibilities to fulfill.  The first of their responsibility is to maintain a presence of fellowship.  Then they will be given ministry projects.  Participants will either live up to these expectations, or fade away.  It is better to have them fade in the privacy of the hall, then before the assembly of the fellowship.


Teams vs. Groups


Teams are becoming a popular approach to increasing effectiveness to reach both individual and organizational goals.  Some of the general benefits are integration of ideas, creative perspectives that only come through diversity, and greater retention of learning through fellowship.  It should be noted that these advantages are the fruits of participating in teams, as opposed to groups.  Groups and teams may be similar, but they also seem to have a distinct difference.  Groups may involve collections of individuals who share resources.  However, teams always involve shared dependence among its members in order to achieve their goals.


An eye can’t say to a hand, "I don’t need you!" Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, "I don’t need you!" The opposite is true. The parts of the body that we think are weaker are the ones we really need.  (1Co 12:21-22 GW)



Advantages of Virtual Teams


There are many types of teams, but what is most important here is that we consider our type. Virtual teams are constructed of geographically dispersed members who are connected by technology to achieve common goals.   In addition to the benefits that already accompany team membership, virtual teams also enjoy the advantages of saved time, travel, and expenses, while increasing access to learning opportunities and people of expertise.


A Closer Look at Team Function


Team composition speaks of the qualities brought to teams by its members.  These qualities are generally defined as knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs).  It can be beneficial to select team members with paired qualities to those necessary for achieving planned goals.  By so doing, the probably of successful outcomes increases substantially.  However, this is not possible without an analysis to determine the needs necessary to realize successful outcomes.


Team coordination is a training method designed to assist members with information and skills that will improve their abilities to manage interpersonal relations during times of conflict, problem solving, defining role expectations, etc.  However, member motivation must also be considered because such training will be least effective to those least motivated to practice the shared insights.




Trust is essential to the success of teams, relationships, and interaction.  Without trust there will be suspicion and double-mindedness.  “A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything.” (Jas 1:8 GW)


Research conducted by Cascio (2000) found that trust was increased when team members practiced collaboration, communication, and socialization skills within virtual environments.  These are described below:


Virtual-collaboration behaviors speak of being able to exchanging ideas without criticism, and agreeing on responsibilities.


Virtual-communication skills describes rephrasing unclear sentences or expressions

so that all team members understand what is being said, acknowledging the receipt of messages, and responding ASAP.


Virtual-socialization skills include soliciting team members’ feedback on the work

process used to accomplish team goals, expressing appreciation for ideas and completed tasks, and apologizing for mistakes.





In light of what has been said above, please describe in your own words the important difference between teams and groups.


Above, we talked about collaboration, communication, and socialization skills within virtual environments like this one. 

a)     Which one do you think is your strength, and which one is your weakness?

b)     How do you think you could encourage others who have weakness in the area of your strength?

c)     How do you think you could improve on your own weakness?





Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2010). Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.