Tips for Building a Solid Team Dynamic
There’s an African proverb that sagely advises, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
This is especially true of any Christ-centered endeavor, whether it’s a ministry team or a faith-based non-profit like Feed the Need Missions. There are times when some of us more ambitious and energetic types might believe it would be much easier to go it alone. But biblically, to be truly effective, we must embrace the pursuit of the “dream team.”
Paul the Apostle went to great lengths to educate the ancient Corinthian Church that while we are uniquely gifted, we are wholly interdependent—designed to work in tandem to achieve greatness. Maybe you’ve had the joy of working in a group in which all are individuals operating cooperatively in their zones of excellence, not for personal glory, but for God’s glory. But for most of us, that feels like an illusive myth.
The truth is, building an effective team, and operating as one, is not easy. Great teams don’t happen by chance or by luck. They are built on self awareness, intentionality, right placement and shared vision. If you’re ready to take your group of highly skilled individuals to the next level, know that the road might not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for practical ways to develop your mission or ministry team, read on to discover a few tools we’ve discovered that can help you get there.
Prioritize Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are unique abilities imparted to Christ-followers by the Holy Spirit. These are action-based, and are, simply put, the task God has in mind for an individual—their spiritual work assignment. Several scripture passages including 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 outline the many ways an individual may be equipped supernaturally for a particular ministry function in the body of believers.
One of the reasons spiritual gifts should be of paramount consideration on a ministry team is that it allows God the priority consideration. Placing a person on your team in a position to operate within their call and gifting will foster joy and fulfillment for that individual and great blessing to the team dynamic as they receive the fruit of it.
One thing to keep in mind is that, just as seasons change, so do spiritual gifts. These God-given abilities are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. They are not a person’s identity and it’s possible that over time they will change. It is important to evaluate these occasionally; in fact, they can be a helpful indicator of a need for role changes on a team.
There’s a reason why so many corporations invest time and money to discover a potential employee’s temperament. Whether it’s enneagram numbers, animal types, the DISC or some other temperament questionnaire, ensuring a personality fits a particular team culture or a job assignment is extremely beneficial for a team’s success.
In general, these assessments give you an idea of how a person achieves the goals set before them. Some people are natural delegators or risk takers. Some crave routine, harmony and consistency. Others want to be given a detailed job and left alone, and still others love to work through problems socially.
Temperament assessments for a team bring self awareness, but they also help build sensitivity and reduce frustrations. As you share around the table, your team will discover new, viable options for solving problems. Seeing a lack of certain temperaments on your team can help you to recruit the best candidates as you expand. And hopefully, everyone will begin to appreciate the strengths others bring to the table. In short, each member will begin to understand their unique contribution while valuing those of others.
Focus Your Skills
Once you understand who’s on the team, and what they bring to the table, it’s important to align them to a singular vision. You can have the most skilled team in the world, but if they don’t have a clear understanding of where they’re going and how to get there, it’s going to be a real struggle to achieve success.
Does your organization have a strong mission statement? Creating a mission statement isn’t just about snappy marketing. It’s the driving force behind everything you do. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers an exceptional in-depth guide to how to create a group mission statement. Once you develop yours, every action and decision must be filtered through the question: Does it help us achieve our mission?
Other considerations for focusing the culture and activity of your team are creating clear values and definitions of success. These help the team understand not just the goal, but the preferred way of getting to it. The best teams celebrate staff and volunteers who embrace these and make it a point to revisit them regularly.
Find Your Place
Whatever your temperament or spiritual gifting, there is a team waiting to embrace you at Feed the Need Missions. An established 501(c)3 organization operating in nine rural communities across Texas, we’re always looking for potential site coordinators, volunteers, church partners, and corporate partners in cities across the U.S. to join our mission to feed people physically and spiritually. If you’re ready to step in to an organization that is well-equipped to activate you, we’d love to hear from you.
How to Love the “Hard to Love”
Pray often for God to change your heart. When we pray for our attitudes, and when we pray for our enemies, it’s amazing how or hearts begin to soften toward those who we find tough to love.
Forgive often as Jesus forgave us. This word in the Bible can mean everything from remitting a debt, to leaving something alone and even to simply overlook. And if you need motivation, just think about how God has done this in your own life!
Set healthy boundaries. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be that person’s best friend. We can love even the most difficult people by being kind, meeting their needs, and showing them respect.
Why We Love the “Hard to Love”
As Christians, we lead by example. Servant leadership is one of our core values at Feed the Missions. We believe it’s important to approach everyone with an attitude of service, just as Jesus did. Loving people who don’t love us back can feel thankless at times. But we have a Savior who can relate.
Praying for a Heart to Love the “Hard to Love”
If you are ready to maximize the ultimate measure of your life, you can rest assured that Feed the Need Missions is an avenue through which you can make a major impact on those in most need and also reflect the character and values of Dr King.
In case you hadn’t heard, the first seven days of January have officially been dubbed “New Year’s Resolution Week.” This week the entire internet has been inundated with “new year, new you” messaging, social media posts touting ‘words of the year,’ and other similar personal goal setting.
Taking time to reset and self evaluate truly are so important. Personal Bible reading plans and a restructuring of priorities are vital for growth. But if 2020 gave us anything, it was ample time to do this. Last year, as we learned to adapt to quarantined living in the wake of COVID-19, we became homeschool parents and remote office workers. We focused on family. We gardened. We crafted. We became digital media pros. What was sorely missed, in all this inwardly focused time, was a sense of community.
A New Year Shift of Focus
In 2020, loneliness was off the charts. People felt disconnected, so much so that the CDC published resources, warnings and health ramifications associated with isolation. We missed our friends, and churches, and our coffee dates. We longed for unmasked smiles, unreserved hugs and high fives. Personal contact. Togetherness.
As we move in to a new year, consider trading the typical personal resolutions for a commitment to personal involvement in community revitalization. If ever there was a time, this is the year to shift our focus outward toward others. Should you need biblical support for this, you need look no further than this charge from the Apostle Paul:
Selfless and sacrificial service should be the daily norm for every Christian— but we don’t often incorporate it into our New Years goal setting. And it’s too bad, because it has some pretty incredible perks. In addition to the obvious spiritual priority the Bible gives it and the benefits for others, a service oriented lifestyle is proven to decrease depression, add skills to our personal tool belts, reduce stress and help us build new friendships. The ironic truth is we could achieve most of our personal goals more effectively by focusing less on self and more on others. Just food for thought.
A New Year Commitment to Community
So what does resolving to be others-centered in 2021 look like? Glad you asked! First, let’s talk about the need.
We know our communities have healing to do in the wake of 2020. But defining that more specifically helps us to articulate how we can be part of the solution. At Feed the Need Missions, we define the needs based on what we call the Four Levels of Poverty:
- Physical poverty – This is the more obvious understanding of poverty, including a lack of tangible resources impacting food, clothing and shelter. This lack occurs for a myriad of reasons, but many individuals experienced heightened poverty in 2020 in the wake of job losses and furrows.
- Emotional poverty – This type of poverty manifests itself through loneliness, mental challenges, relational issues or difficulty with life or coping skills. As mentioned above, there is a heavy sense of isolation and anxiety related to 2020.
- Social Poverty – Often social deficits go hand in hand with physical poverty. Most often, social poverty is the desire to feel valued, to simply be seen, to be heard, and to have someone speak into their lives.
- Spiritual Poverty – We believe the most dire need of all people, in the era of COVID or otherwise, is for the forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate solution, meeting every need associated with physical, emotional, social and spiritual poverty.
Feed the Need Missions is about meeting people in every one of these types of poverty. Our organizational mission is to feed people physically and spiritually. We do that through weekly pop up style dinner sites, where we distribute hot meals. As we address the physical need, we initiate personal interactions, offer prayers and proclaim the Gospel to anyone who is willing to listen.
A New Volunteer Service Opportunity
We do all this via an ever expanding army of volunteers. People looking for a way to make an impact. People just like you.
We often say, “the burger is just the tool.” We’ve found that, just as we see it play out in the Bible, physical needs being met opens the doors to fulfill every type of hunger. It gives us an opportunity to connect them to a Savior, Provider, Friend and Wonderful Counselor.
If restoring community in 2021 sounds like just the ticket for you, and you’re looking for a way to get started, we want to invite you to get involved in this vital mission as a volunteer, church partner, prayer warrior or donor. All you have to do is show up to one of our sites, and we’ll get you plugged in.
Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Are you ready to level up from Bible reading to Bible living? Are you ready to take Jesus outside the church walls? Then you are exactly who we’re looking to team up with in the new year.
Fellow believers, we’ve had our time to retreat and reflect. Now is a time for heroes to step up, ready to take action and be the healing hands of Jesus.
About the Writer
Amanda joined our staff in September of 2020 as the Marketing Director. She is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher and public speaker, and former church staffer. In her 10 years of adult ministry experience at one of the largest churches in the U.S., she fostered a passion and proficiency for church program development, discipleship and sharing the love of Christ.
2020 was a record year for the Feed the Need Missions Gobble Kit program.
We are beyond grateful for our incredible volunteers, many who began helping months before the actual Gobble Kit distribution. From sorting, organizing, promotion and logistics to praying, visiting, and sharing the Gospel—these people went above and beyond to feed people physically and spiritually. As you read their stories, you’ll find the common thread that as they blessed others, they were equally refreshed and blessed.
Jeanette from Bastrop South shared, “being able to sign people up and check them off the list made me feel so blessed. The fact that this program does so much for others, makes me so grateful. I thought it was wonderful and those who received were over joyed and so appreciative. It makes me feel joyful knowing that I was a part of this.”
Jennie from Stony Point told us, “Watching my husband experience joy as he serves the community has changed our marriage. It’s such a blessing. My husband has never really been a part of something like this. It has helped us grow together because it gets us outside of ourselves. You don’t see the need until you’re present. It’s been a huge blessing for me to witness those who experience receiving food and watching the growth of our volunteers.”
Jack from LBA said “It was a neat way to break in some of the folks that have just recently moved to the community by asking them if they were in need of a Gobble Kit. We have a lot of single parents that are trying to make ends meet and the thankfulness from them brought me to tears. Because of COVID and serving the Gobble Kits to the guests at their vehicle brought more opportunities to build the relationship and people were more vulnerable, especially those who couldn’t be with their family. The impact on being a family together is extremely emotional to the ones who couldn’t travel to see loved ones. We prayed together and cried together.”
Teresa, who serves at multiple sites, was extremely impacted by the volunteers presence at each sites. “We all came together and helped each other out at the different sites. Many Site Coordinators and other lead teams worked together to help make the Gobble Kit program a success. It touched my heart seeing so many people being prayed for and the acceptance of our guests wanting prayer. I saw many faces that I haven’t seen before that are struggling and this turkey meal was enough to give them HOPE.”
Feed the Need With Us
What a joy it is to be able to report such powerful experiences. Not only is the program growing each year, but it is growing people up in Jesus. Volunteers are experiencing life change and our guests are encountering the peace and provision of Jesus. If reading these stories has inspired you to get involved, we would love for you to become part of the Feed the Need Missions family. You can support us financially by making a donation, or serve at one of our eight site locations each week.
What is Giving Tuesday?
- Doing a kind deed for neighbors
- Volunteering or sharing talents
- Giving your voice to a cause that matters to you
- Donating to a local fundraiser, community drive or coordinated event
How to Choose the Nonprofit to Support?
Consider the problems that weigh heavily on your own community. Is it poverty? Homelessness? Hunger? Then seek out organizations that are working to solve these problems. If you can find one that is functioning where you live, or has a desire to expand to your area, even better! Most organizations provide an overview of their on their websites.
Investigate their methods and their practices. Read their and check out their . These should give you a pretty full picture of what they view as most important. Then consider your own personal values, and make sure your preferred organization matches up. Sharing values with the organizations you support means you can feel good about partnering with them.
How to Partner with Feed the Need Missions on Giving Tuesday
- Simply to make a donation online.
We are so thankful for our generous donors. You can give this one time or even select a monthly amount for ongoing support.
- Sign up for . Many of the gifts you are planning to purchase this holiday season qualify for AmazonSmile. Simply go to , select Feed the Need Missions as your default organization, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to us.
- Check with your employer to see if they match donations. This can double or even triple the financial donations or even volunteer hours you generously give to Feed the Need Missions! Search to see if this is something your employer offers or check with your HR department and ask about matching employee donations.