Group or Team

Today I was at a gathering of other church leaders called ICC or Innovative Church Community and we were talking about the difference between a group and a team. I heard something that made me think and reevaluate my approach. It was a stupid little rhyming thing, but I think it’s a good way to remember that there are stages people need to go through to move from a group to a team. First is the forming – where people just come together for whatever reason and form a group. The next stage is norming and during this stage people in the group learn what to expect and how to behave (in other words, what is acceptable and not acceptable). After that, the group moves through a storming stage which is most likely where they really begin to become a team that owns and shares the vision or team goal. Finally, there’s the performing stage which is where everyone on the team understands their specific role, how it contributes to the team, and how to step up and help other members perform to the best of their ability.

I thought about this and realized that our staff isn’t perfoming the way I’d like because we’re not to that stage yet…we’re working towards it, but for all practical purposes we’re still mostly defining the norms. The church is the same way. I’d like us to be functioning better, but we’re still hammering out our identity and defining what is and isn’t acceptable. I’m ok with that. I can be more intentional now about moving this group we call a staff and our church through some of these stages. So in actuality, we’re still building our team.

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