Team culture is a popular phrase, but what does it mean? An easy way to understand it is to break down the definitions of the two words.
Culture is “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.” The definition of team is “to come together to achieve a common goal.” So team culture is the customs of a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.
Think of it this way: the attitudes and beliefs of a group will directly affect their success in achieving their goals. You want to have a strong team culture so that you can successfully achieve your goal; in our case, this is advancing the Kingdom of God!
To come together to achieve a common goal
So we can agree that having a strong team culture is very important. But how do you go about creating a team culture? Bishop Tommy McGhee, IPHC Discipleship Ministries, gives the following team concepts as the first steps in creating a winning team.
1. Admit Weakness
We must all be willing to admit that we simply can’t do everything ourselves. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Team members must be willing to lean on each other in times of high activity or stress.
2. Appreciate Diversity
“The Discipleship Minsitries team is a veritable hodge podge of giftings and abilities,” states Bishop McGhee. “This allows us to look at a problem from every possible angle, from every perspective, and tackle it quickly and efficiently.”
3. Allow Conflict
Conflict can be an opportunity for the team to grow. Passionate people have strong feelings, and you will never find a more passionate group of people than a team moving in excitement towards a united vision. Conflict can be healthy when it is used as a learning experience and your team will be the stronger for experiencing it.
4. Advance Wisely
Creating a team culture is not an overnight endeavor. It may take months or years before you have the perfect mix in place, but the result will be well worth the effort. A team of people can solve problems and develop resources much more efficiently than any one person. “Remember that leaders are learners, and learners are listeners,” says Bishop McGhee. Be willing to seek the Lord’s direction for your team members and ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have the skill set needed?
Don’t ask if they fill a spot that has always been there but if they have the necessary giftings to come alongside the vision and turn it into action
2. Are they teachable?
They need to join in the vision, even adding to it themselves, instead of implementing their own agenda.
3. Are they a team player?
Insist that they work well within the team. If they will allow conflict to stretch them and grow them, it will not slow them down.
Bishop McGhee advises those who desire a winning team to remember that we are not always responsible for the past, but we are responsible for the future. Andy Stanley says, “The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees.”
“The kingdom cause is too important to just accept that things must continue as they have always been”, says Bishop McGhee, “We must make honest evaluations and do what’s best for the people we are trying to serve. We need to continually ask the hard questions, seek God for insights, and move forward. It’s not about us, it’s about Him and them.”
If you are interested in inviting Bishop McGhee to your conference, church, or event to speak, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bishop Tommy McGhee is the Executive Director of Discipleship Ministries and also serves as the Vice Chairman for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. His vision for Discipleship Ministries is to identify the best discipleship resources available to help put them in the hands of local church leaders where discipleship happens.
Bishop McGhee served as Superintendent of the Cornerstone Conference (Western North Carolina) from June 1994 until July 2012. Prior to being Superintendent, he served as the Evangelism & World Missions Director of the Western North Carolina Conference for six years and as a pastor in the conference for twelve years. He joined the Western North Carolina Conference while attending Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. He graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.S. in Religious Studies; and later from Southwestern Christian University Graduate School (Bethany, Oklahoma) with a Master of Ministry Degree in Church Growth & Church Planting.
Bishop McGhee is married to Elizabeth Frye McGhee and they live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They have two grown children – Jennifer (OKC) and Jason (Patrick County, VA). Jason and his wife, Mandy, have one grand daughter, Audrey who is the delight of her grandparents!