I have been working since I was 16, and since I’m 23 that probably isn’t a long time. But in that time, I have been on tons of different teams in a variety of industries (customer service, entertainment, film, etc.). When it comes to working on a team, the pitfalls and bad patterns aren’t much different between a church job and a “regular” job. If you ever DON’T want to make it on a team, here is what you should do:
Don’t pitch in. We all know “that guy” that just so happens to be “busy” when your team is scheduled to put away all of the supplies from your event. When you choose to not participate with your team in the “not-so-shiny” parts of ministry, you are communicating to them that you are above that work. One of the best things I was told about team work was that while I have specific responsibilities on our team, there is an asterisk next to it. The asterisk is *whatever else needs to be done. We aren’t here to serve only when it is fun, easy, or convenient. We are just here to serve.
Don’t be friendly. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on your team but you do have to put in some relational effort. You need to love and support your team. If you aren’t being kind, frustration will build on both sides. Let’s be real, if you aren’t building relationships with people (or at least maintaining them) no one is going to want to do things for you and your team will fall apart. If that sounds like too much to ask, you might be on the wrong team.
Don’t be trustworthy. If your teammates can’t trust you, you’re out. I’ve seen people lose trust in several different ways. I’ve seen them lose trust by being manipulative and twisting the truth to make themselves look better or to make someone else look worse. I’ve seen people continually not deliver when it comes to the work they are supposed to be doing. One of the most common things is just having an ulterior motive. Losing trust on your team is one of the hardest things to come back from. Sure, your boss may still believe in you but you have to re-convince the rest of the team to believe in you, too. Just remember to always be honest, humble, and quick to apologize.