3. Align with Organizational Vision
Nehemiah knew he needed the king’s help to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. As the king’s cupbearer, Nehemiah had access to the king and some sort of rapport. Over time, he built a close trusting relationship, which was evidenced by how the king noticed Nehemiah’s sad countenance and wanted to help. Nehemiah humbly and boldly asked for the king’s favor and made clear and specific requests that were granted.
Have you served your senior leaders in a way that builds trust? A critical way to gain their trust is to align your goals to the greater priorities of the organization. Remember you are part of a bigger team and being an effective team player means you adopt the greater organizational vision and contextualize it for your area of ministry. Communicate it clearly and consistently to your team and volunteers. Check the mission statement or stated goals of your specific ministry to see how well it lines up with the broader vision of your church.
Over time, your sphere of influence will reach other groups inside your organization. Choose to leverage your influence, not just for the good of your specific ministry, but also for the greater whole. If you have concerns with higher leadership decisions, air them privately with decision makers and not in public where it can be misconstrued or misunderstood. Remember, you represent the face of your ministry for both staff and congregation. When your team is aligned with the greater vision of the church and you have personal credibility with senior leadership, your ministry will be more fruitful.
4. Invest in Your Team
After Nehemiah assembled a team to work on the wall, he was strategic in assigning different families and tribes to build various sections of the wall. Nehemiah knew their names, family histories, and was clear on who was doing what. He also knew who his opponents were and taught his people to defend themselves so the work could keep moving forward.
Each person on your team has a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, skills, and temperament. If you want to develop a strong team, you have to spend some time getting to know them. Ask questions or use personality assessments to jumpstart conversations about the values, preferences, and characteristics that drive each person’s behavior. Learn the basics about each other’s personal lives so you can rejoice and grieve with one another. There may be times when your members need some flexibility in their schedule or a little extra time to get the work done due to personal issues. Set boundaries, but be as gracious as the situation permits so trust and loyalty will increase.