Unity doesn't happen accidentally, you must work for it. It's important to have clear expectations of how a team will operate. If expectations are fuzzy then unity and performance of the team will suffer.
As you know morale and unity are crucial in any team but even more so on a ministry team. For years my hope has been that students and parents would see our staff team as a family that should be modeled. The way we support one another, the way we forgive one another, the way we ask for forgiveness and the way we live life together should be a positive model for all who observe.
To help protect unity for out team we've developed 6 value statements. These words or statements remind of us of what is important to us as a team. Trust me, having team values doesn't cure everything but it goes a long way in making sure each of us are on the same page.
As you think about common values for your team remember that ownership from the ENTIRE team is crucial. The team values you create may be the best values ever known to man, but if they're just your values and not your team's values you will struggle to build a unified team that continues to be effective in ministry.
Here are the team values for the student ministry team where I serve. Obviously these short statements don't fit every setting. These are values developed by this team for a particular time and situation. You have to think, pray and discuss your statements for your particular time and situation. It may also be appropriate to add to or adjust your values every year based on your ethos at that particular time.
Each of our values begins with a statement of belief followed by how we behave towards one another. Sure there are many more statements that could made but it's important to keep your list as small as possible.
Again, these are statements for how we operate as a team not ministry values, there's a big difference.
We recognize that apart from Jesus we can do nothing, therefore God dependent prayer should permeate all we do as a team.
As a team we are always seeking to improve our effectiveness as we minister. We value an environment where we are not only open to kind critique but also seek out advice and wisdom from others.
Trust is forged when time is spent together. We value time where there is laughter, hard work and meaningful conversation takes us deeper in intimacy with one another. Our desire is to model authentic community to the students we serve and the rest of the church.
Because love always protects, and always trust, we will seek to believe the best of one another knowing that we will also fail one another. We will strive to assume the best.
If loyalty to God and truth is primary, loyalty to each other will come natural. We value a team were each of us protect the reputation of one another, being careful how we speak of each other and those in authority over us.
We value a team that is open and honest about its struggles and failures. Transparency and honesty leads to trust and loyalty.
As a team we don't memorize this list and quote it once a week but we do pull these out at least two times a year to remind ourselves of what's important to us as a team. If the list is made and never referred to again you've wasted a lot of hard work in bring your team closer to unity and ministry effectiveness.
As we're reevaluating at the begin of 2013 I would love to hear about your values (or whatever you call them). And just curious, does your team have a list similar to this? If so, please share, if not why?