Creating teams and community

I wonder what does it take to create an amazing organisation, church or business. I wonder what does it take for leadership to become practical.

I have been a part of mission and church for most of my grown up life. I have seen amazing leadership and I have also been at the receiving end of abusive leadership. I have seen leaders working close with me and I have felt the distance when leaders only carry a title and not the function.
I have seen leaders creating amazing teams and room for ideas and innovation, I have also seen leaders closing doors and going alone.

My wife has written an article called “No one grows up alone”. This says it all, we are created for teams and family, or as I often call them – communities. I cannot understand when mission organisations send out one or two persons to a location without a bigger team. I have done that and have learned hard and fast that it is not the way to do it.
We need communities to grow and to flourish as human beings and it makes me sad when I hear people say that it’s a waste of time, or that it’s good for some but that they don’t need it.
A big problem I see in church and many organisations is the lack of colleagues for pastors and leaders. I work with and observe others that are alone in their work, and often see that this lifestyle leads them into depression and they lose hope.

What time do you get out of bed? How does your work schedule look like? Is it productive and fulfilling or is it totally open and without any frames?
A meeting with some one at 11.00, an e-mail to write and that’s it… what does your day look like?

We all need work frames, structure and some clarity, otherwise we get lost at some point. I have seen this happen to good friends. For a long time working from home was very popular, but in a survey recently published we read that this has its downside. When do you work? 24/7? Or hardly able to do anything because there is always something else to do?

My timeframe is something that is so built in that I can almost not function without it. My alarm is set for 6 AM and I try to be at the gym as soon as possible. If I don’t go to the gym, I get my children up, and by 7.30 we are on our way to school and job in town. If I go to the gym, then my wife does the school run. At 9.00 we have our community meeting. You see, it is so important to have routine in our week, as is my morning routine. I sometimes meet people who think that 9 a.m. is too early to have a meeting, or to be in the community meeting. That’s when I get a bit worried.

This article is mainly for all of you that are pastoring churches, leading smaller businesses or organisations, but for your own health, do everything in your power to have colleagues, places where you can get encouragement and good input from. In saying ‘colleagues’ I don’t mean that they have to be in the same job as you. It means people that are speaking positivity into your life, giving you hope and that are in for you, and also that challenge you to grow.

I would advise anyone I get in touch with to have a place to go to.. Go to work…there is only a few that can make home a workplace and it’s probably not you! If you are pastor in a city church ask your neighbour church if you can share office or share something together on a weekly basis. If you are a part of YWAM, the organisation I work with, I would advise you never to pioneer alone, and if you are alone make sure you gather people around you. And that’s because leadership doesn’t come because you have a position, it comes because you lead people – here is where you are shaped, pruned and formed, and it’s always by building teams.

Some leaders postpone meetings, or are not able to deal with difficult situations. I have learned that if you cannot confront, you can not lead, or in other words, if you cannot face difficulties close enough you should not be in leadership. This is where you are formed, and this is where the difference between good and bad leadership lays. We can all face good times, but in time of conflict or major crisis can we then face it?

I started pondering about what it takes to create amazing teams, and one of the key thing about amazing teams is vulnerability. Real good and deep leadership team goes in deep waters, and then we can cry and laugh together. We all go through difficult times, in our marriages, we lose dear ones, we battle depressive thoughts and we can be struggling with finances. The difference between good leaders and all the rest is the capability to put the mask down in front of the team. I speak against those of you that think it’s about performance and professionalism, even though the word professionalism originally means commitment and being in for the long haul. We know it just to look professional.
We are people…life has many sides, and the sun is not always bright…We can do our crying in the rain, but I’d rather do it with the people who are close to me.

My life has been shaped by the people that I have and have had around me. Our lives are shaped together and there is something beautiful in that. Let’s seek to be communities full of life and let’s shape them together!

Till next time,

Rune Saether

Have your say