Building a Team

Our staff has been working on defining ourselves and working as a team. If your church staff, or any other staff for that matter, would like to work more collaboratively with a common purpose and understanding, here is the two day retreat we put together. We used Patrick Lencioni’s book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” as our primary source.


Prior to the retreat, each staff member took the Team Assessment found in Lencioni’s book, the Myers Briggs and Thomas Killman assessment.

Day One
Reflection on Scripture and Prayer
Listing of Expectations for the two-day retreat
• To be open to one another
• To understand each other
• To work more as a team
• To understand the responsibility and role of personnel
• To know who each of us are
• To be able to hear God
• To follow through on decisions made in the next two days
• To laugh together

Overview of Book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team


Each staff member shared three things about themselves:
1. Where they grew up
2. Number of siblings
3. Most challenging childhood experience

The Question of Trust
Lengthy discussion on the history of trust among the staff.

Looking at the MBTI: Compare who on staff shares common personality traits.

Extroverts/ Introverts

intuitive/ Sensory

Thinking/ Feeling

Perceiving/ Judging

What is our Team’s Myers Briggs?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the type?



How did your family deal with conflict when you were growing up?

Assessment of the Thomas Killman Conflict Tool
Competing/Collaborating/Compromising/Avoiding /Accommodating
What are the downsides and advantages to ways in which each of us handle conflict?
What are our growing edges?
Discussion on Triangulation
What is triangulation and where have you seen it?

The following were some specific issues that we all committed to as a team.

1) Structure & Schedule of Meetings
• Staff meetings are at 9:30 on Tuesdays. They include all staff. They will begin promptly at 9:30 and will adjourn at 11:00.
• The structure will be:
o 9:30-10:00—pastoral care, ministry sharing, calendar (close with prayer at 10:00).
o 10:00-11:00—program time (planning, etc.)
o Those who need to leave at 10:00 after the break can do so if necessary; everyone is welcome to stay for the entire meeting.
o At 10:00 we will review agenda for the current meeting and discuss agenda items for the following week’s agenda.
• In addition to weekly staff meetings, Shelly will meet individually with each staff member either weekly or bi-weekly (some weekly and others bi-weekly).

2) Behavior During Meetings
• No electronics (except at agreed upon times to check calendars, etc.)

3) Preferred Method of Staff Communication
• Communication that is “all staff” will be through email.
• For communication that is between two (or several) staff members they will establish together the protocol (might be different for different groups)
• For any communication that is an emergency or requires immediate attention, we will use any mode available until we receive a response.

4) Timeline for Responding to Email
• Will respond by the next working day for that particular staff member (this will exclude Sunday mornings when staff is busy with other activities).

5) Non-Work Hour Availability
• Since we cannot control the times that people will send emails, texts, phone calls, we will support one another in determining when we will receive communication. We acknowledge that each staff member needs to have some hours set aside to be with family, rest, etc. when we will be “unplugged” from all communication. Those times will be different for each staff person, but we will support one another and hold one another accountable to honoring those times for family, rest and renewal.

6) Importance of Timeliness for Meetings
• We agreed that it is very important for us to honor the start time and end time of our staff meetings so that we are being respectful of one another’s time.

7) Use of Common Resources
• For example: children’s toys, staplers, office supplies, paper supply closet

8) Role of Personnel

9) Approaching other Ministries
• Staff should check with the staff member responsible for a given area before approaching church members in matters regarding that ministry. Work together across ministry areas.

10) Acceptable behavior between staff members and between staff and congregation

11) Items for follow-up
• Create a common theme (have a starting discussion below)
• Be sure that all position descriptions are up to date
• Be sure that personnel liaisons are in touch with their assigned staff members
• Explore other scenarios and solutions for healing and diffusion in times of complaint/disagreement
• Follow-up retreat soon
• Share minutes of Friday session with Personnel Committee


Staff Common Theme Discussion

“United as One Body in Christ” (I Corinthians 12)

This theme represents our desire to strengthen the staff as a team (UNITED) and also model this unity with the congregation.

Next Steps
Annual planning meeting and leadership development retreat
Topic Includes budget discussion, major strategic planning overview, leadership training


Quarterly Staff Meetings (two days –off site)
Worship planning, Programmatic planning, Team building

Weekly Meetings (See Notes Above)
One on One Ad hoc Meetings (dates noted)


What are you going to work on to help us become a team? How will you contribute to creating a team atmosphere? How will you work to help bring our common purpose to light?

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