Seven Essential Characteristics of a Winning Team

Teams, Church GrowthBy Dr. Frank Damazio

The team concept or support-ministry principle has been proven throughout Scripture and history to be one of the most effective dynamics of any healthy, successful local church. When leadership ministries are harnessed together by the Holy Spirit to work in cooperation, their effectiveness is multiplied. Recognizing and submitting to each other, they work toward a common goal, and truly become a leadership team.

Let’s look at some characteristics or essentials of what a winning team looks like.

A Winning Leader

A winning leader has the ability to clearly communicate a vision that excites the team to action. He/she understands the source and proper use of power and authority. The winning leader desires to respond to the needs of others. They are a people person. The winning leader has a high tolerance for experimentation.

As the team catches a spirit of faith, excitement and enthusiasm will result. This will set in motion team members who will stretch out to become excellent. This, of course necessitates experimentation. The winning leader has a high tolerance for experimentation and failure. He never condemns innovation even if it doesn’t always produce the right results.

Tangible Goals

The Greek word for bishop is the word episkopos, an overseer. The word skopos means to see or the ability to fix your eye on a certain mark. The very word used in the New Testament for the leadership of the church has to do with perception, focus, vision. A winning team must have a vision, a mark to hit with tangible goals. The team must know where it is going and how it is going to get there.

A “Give-It-All-It-Takes” Attitude

To create this kind of an attitude there must be a clear vision and clear articulate goals. Vision causes a person to put the needs of the group before their own needs. The word here is sacrifice. A give-it-all-it-takes attitude is contagious. This attitude will motivate the team beyond the human level of achievement.

The Ability to Recover From Failures

Don’t make a big deal out of your personal failures, failures of those on your team, or team failures. One of the worst traps to fall into as a team is to allow criticism or blame to fall when things go worse than expected. Examine each mistake and the results honestly, but avoid blaming others. Analyze how and why the failure occured, learn from it, encourage one another, and go on. Concentrate on the lessons learned, not on the failures.

Respect For The Value of Each Person as Well as For Others’ Talents and Gifts

Everyone needs to feel love and acceptance, especially from those they love and respect. Peer level respect is worth more than silver or gold. Each team member must verbalize his love and respect to the other team members. Habitual, continual and sincere appreciation goes a long way in producing team spirit. Get into the habit of dropping one another voice memos and text messages. Make that phone call!

Intensity and Excellence

A winning team must never allow victory to take the edge off spiritual hunger or alertness. Napoleon has well said, “The most dangerous moment comes with victory.” The moment we reach those long awaited goals or accomplish the most impossible task, we are in spiritual danger. A mature team keeps the tension of prayer, the need for God and humility after great victories.

Adherence to Basic Principles

The principle of reviewing the basics has won many games in sports. Great coaches have built this into their teams. Why? So that in time of crisis, breaking point or emotional tension the team will function out of principle rather than talent. The charismatic or gifted player may play well when he’s hot, but what about those slump times? It is unusual for the whole team to be in a slump if they are playing team ball and obeying basic principles. The basic principles for the leadership team in a local church are prayer, Word of God, integrity, unity, respect, love, forgiveness, preferring one another, sacrifice, etc.

The ministry God has given the church expands as leaders develop. As the church grows, we need multiplication on all leadership levels. The larger the church grows the wider the leadership base must be developed. Always extend the leadership base before adding more ministries. When this happens we can avoid placing incompetent or unqualified persons in particular positions.

The main focus of the pastor should be to equip current leaders and to develop future leaders. Want to learn how to build a winning team or become a winning team player? Enroll in my course Great Teams Build Great Churches today.