7 Effective Ways To Enhance Teamwork
Before I started my YWAM Discipleship Training School I was a loner. I had a couple jobs here and there but I really had no idea what it meant to be in community or to be a part of a team. But very quickly into my YWAM training I realized how much they valued team building. (Spoiler Alert: Functioning in Teams is literally one of YWAM’s values.) Whether it came to intercessory prayer, community responsibilities, local or global ministry, lecture phase or outreach phase, we were using teamwork, and it very often included some kind of team activity that enhanced our unity. Through this I learned so much about being an effective teammate, and I want to share some of those gems with you!
Stay Goal and Relationship Orientated
It’s so important to be on the same page with the rest of your team. Even though sometimes that means a bit of debating. You’re all here for the same reason, to get the work done effectively. So instead of wasting time bickering about who’s way is best, press on in humility, gentleness, patience and grace. You need to be willing to die to yourself at times and the way you want things to go in order to reach your goal. Have team building activities, spend time with each other when you don’t ‘need’ too, be intentional with one another to deepen those relationships!
Always make the Holy Spirit ‘Team Captain’
Whether you’re the team leader or not, having the Holy Spirit be the main decision maker and running the show is always the best idea. So be intentional with the Holy Spirit and let Him lead, even in the little things. During our discipleship class curriculum we learn lots about how to do this effectively.
If you’re prone to gossipping, complaining, being lazy, tarty, or even just
constantly having a bad attitude, then you are going to hold your team back from flourishing. In DTS, you’re bound to have spiritual growth, so bring that to the table. Be intentional in growing and becoming a better person, and a perfect place to practice that is around your team! Give your teammates the respect you want to be given and forgive mistakes easily as Jesus has forgiven you. Walkout in barring the image of Christ.
Going off of Reflecting Jesus, we also need to be willing to accept criticism from our teammates. If they notice areas of growth that need to take place, listen. Step out in humility and allow those you work with and trust to point out what needs to be changed, getting you a step closer to Jesus each time.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Everyone is different, but all are needed. Some people are introverts, some are extroverts. Some work best outside and some work best on a computer. Some prefer the slow and steady life and some thrive off adrenaline. However it is that you work best, use it. Each person plays a different part in the team and brings different ways of thinking, and they’re all beautiful and handcrafted by God! Darlene Cunningham quotes in her book ‘Values Matter’: “Our teams are to be a mirror of the unity with diversity that exists within the Trinity. And people not only bring their personal strengths but also their cultural strengths.” Our differences are our strengths!
As Christians, we are called to take action. So do those dishes that have been piling in the sink, clean that bathroom, volunteer to read that passage in the bible, wash the feet of your enemy, when engaging in intercessory prayer– speak and don’t hold back. Don’t wait around for someone else to do it. Get rid of the ‘it’s not my job’, ‘I’m not good enough’ mindset and take initiative. Ask the Lord for boldness and courage. If we are not willing to do the small jobs, God won’t call us to do the big things we dream of. If you have Jesus you are qualified to do anything He puts in front of you. Be obedient.
Breathe and Remember
It’s normal to get overwhelmed. It’s easy to feel burdened. But guess what! With Jesus, we don’t need to feel that way. Whether it’s one really big assignment or a bunch of little tasks that keep adding up, just breathe and remember – you’re not alone! Not only do you have the Holy Spirit with you but you also have a team and community behind you, supporting you. If you need help, ask for help. Humble yourself enough to admit when things get to be too much to handle and let your teammates walk alongside you. Be a good team member by allowing others to be good team members. Also, don’t be scared to admit you need a break. It’s so much more beneficial to your teammates for you to be fully alive and present than for you to be overworking yourself and eventually leading to burn out. Pay attention to how you’re feeling!