Monday, February 2, 2009

The Grace Staff Culture (Part 4)

The next "C" we look for when hiring new staff (and evaluating current) is CHEMISTRY. Now I never did great with chemistry classes but I do know not to mix certain elements together. That makes for bad chemistry with bad results.

I would suggest that this is very true for a staff as well. Every staff member brings a unique element to our team. This is good in that we need diversity in personalities and gifts in order to accomplish all God would have us accomplish. But at the end of the day, all these different elements must mix well or the results can be disastrous. In order to avoid disastrous results, here is how I am planning on moving forward when addressing the issue of chemistry on our team.

First, I am looking to provide every single staff member with the opportunity to complete the DiSC profile. This is just one of many personality profiles out there, but the value of this tool and others like it lies in its ability to help us better understand ourselves and those we serve with daily. Every single day we face decisions and situations that can hit all sorts of emotional fronts. Understanding how each team member will respond to various scenarios in life and ministry is huge in having chemistry amongst us as a team as we interact with one another in the day to day situations.

Secondly, as I look to initiate bi-annual reviews here at Grace, it will be important to evaluate how well each team member interacts with the team. To borrow an old saying "there is no I in team." I believe this with all my heart and I'm always listening and evaluating how well the individual members of the team are functioning with each other. Now this isn't to say that we'll all have our days where we grind on each other's nerves, but I'm looking for patterns whereby individuals are consistently showing forth behavior that is detrimental to the team rather than positive. We won't always agree on everything as a team, but we move forward with a firm belief that each team member has the best interests of their fellow team members in mind at all times.

Finally, as I look to hire and evaluate current team members, I ask myself "Are these people that I trust and will enjoy doing ministry and life with every single day?" Honestly, being a pastor and serving in a church setting is not always as glamorous as some might think. It calls for very long and wacky hours and the pressures can be very intense at times for the spiritual battle is real. That's why it is so important to be able to laugh, cry and do life together as a team. Nothing brings my heart greater joy than to hear a number of team members enjoying a good laugh together around a desk or in the hallway. Now we're not all going to be best buddies, but it sure is important to know that the people who work on our team love being here every day and doing ministry together.

The chemistry amongst a team must be there. One wrong element and the whole experiment can blow up in your face. That's why I take so seriously the need for every team member to be "a fit" in order to create and maintain the synergy and momentum needed to successfully meet and move as Grace Church moves forward for the cause of Christ. I'll give the final "C" in my next blog!

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