Thursday, May 11, 2006


Today's Topic: Team Building

Vision-casting is a hot topic in the church these days. Yesterday, I did a quick technorati search on vision-casting, to see who's talking about it, and I found that five of the top six hits were from seemingly Christian blogs.

Vision-casting is significant when it comes to building volunteer teams. During a volunteer recruitment training session at the KidStuf conference at Northpoint Community Church, I heard that the first thing a team leader needs to do is to cast a vision. Next, recruit to that vision.

These ideas have been very helpful for me in shaping how I've built teams and how I recruit volunteers. However, because I do think that words matter, and semantics are often more than "just semantics," I'd love to ask some questions.

How does the Bible call us to serve each other in the church? Is it simply a matter of vision-casting? Or is there more to it?

I think there is more to it. But what else matters? Other than just a clear mission statement or set of goals, what should we bring to people's attention when we ask them to serve? And how should that affect our "vision-casting?"

Vision-casting is useful in that it gives people a great goal to work toward. However, the Bible is not only concerned that we reach the right goals. It also commands us to be motivated by the right reasons. My fear today is that churches are motivating their people to serve based on excellence in outcomes. "Come join our team because we make really cool, professional videos" or some such reason. People do want to be on a "winning" team. And excellence will cause them to sign up. But when that is the call, are they joining for the right reasons? Maybe, or maybe not.

Church media team leaders have a responsibility to make sure, as best as possible, that people not only serve with the right goals in mind, but also with the best motives. We must motive-cast. Our job is to help people identify Biblical motives for serving and assess whether they are signing up for the right reasons.

Here are some questions that will help you identify true, godly motivation for serving on your team:
  • How does God's grace to me through saving me and changing me affect my desire to participate on this team?
  • How will this team help me advance the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • How will this team lead me to growth in godliness?
  • How will my participation in this team support the goals of the church?
  • How will this team allow me to build the church community?
  • How will I earn rewards in heaven for the glory of God on this team?
I think the answer to these questions will get at the heart of what should motivate us to serve. Start with yourself: Are these your motives in service? Then ask of your team members: Are these why others are serving?

A test: What excites you more? The quality of your tech and media? Or the gospel of Christ, your growth in godliness, the people of your church, and what serving means for the glory of God in heaven?

Motive-Check. Then Motive-Cast.
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