The definition of “team player” can vary greatly. It’s interesting how different perspectives exist, both in the business world and in ministry work.
Let me break it down for you:
I have this friend on a church staff. According to his pastor, a team player is someone who strictly follows the rules and never questions authority. Respect is earned when his followers obey him. So, for him, being part of the “team” means following the direction set by the pastor or direct supervisor. The church rewards these team players who keep things running smoothly, sticking to the organizational structure established by the leadership. In this environment, those who don’t play by the rules don’t stay around very long. Each team member is expected to lead their own ministry separate from others, hoping that the combination of individual efforts will help the church achieve its goals.
A Different Viewpoint.
I believe that being a team player means actively contributing to the church’s goals and helping those goals come to life. It personally bothers me when someone on the team doesn’t bring their own original ideas to the table or feels like their input isn’t valued. Honestly, I want people to “own” their area of ministry and at the same time, see how it works within the entire missional framework.
If one team member’s ministry is struggling, it affects the whole team, and it’s the entire team’s responsibility to help them. I agree that each team needs a leader who makes final decisions and sets the overall vision for the organization.
But here’s the thing – I have “blind spots” and make sure I am approachable for different points of view. My default is always – best practices. My hope is that all church leaders would have the same mindset, remembering that it isn’t about us or our ideas but what is best for the kingdom.