Before putting the essentials of team leadership into action one has to determine if one has a team, according to Granger Community UMC Lead Pastor Mark Beeson. He said unlike teams, groups contain people who live parallel to each other with little interaction, such as a group taking a walk on a beach. Teams, on the other hand, are people interacting with each other, such as a team of people climbing a mountain. They are dependent upon each other to meet their goal.

Beeson then explained the five essentials of team leadership that he has learned during the years to more than 200 clergy and lay members of the Indiana Annual Conference Session June 7.

He began his first point by asking the 200+ clergy and laity in the session, “Who would you follow?” They responded with words like courage, passion, listener and visionary.

The leader is the first essenital. “You, as leader, matter because who you are determines who will follow you.” The blunt truth is that if people leave, it’s about you. He reminded the group that not everyone followed Jesus. Unfortunately, you aren’t more than you are… and don’t act to be something that you aren’t.

The responsibility of a group is dependent first on the responibility of the leader.

He then reminded the participants of their Weslyan heritage. He said we are about the love of God, this is amazing grace. That’s our history and heritage. Another aspect of who we are in that God’s standard for us in holiness and love. “We are to be a holy people,” he said. The leader builds the team because people will follow.

Second, we must ask, “What’s the mission?” The mission will either make or break a team. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. A good leader doesn’t change the mission. If you change the mission, you put the team at risk and members of the team may leave.

Third, we must ask, “Who else is on the team?” Accountability and commitment to Christ are essential in who is on the team. Remember the most dangerous person on the team is the team member who is just a little off target.

A little off doesn’t mean too much at first on railroad tracks, but if one of the rails is not parallel to the other, miles down the rails, the train will derail. Likewise, teammates must be in agreement with the leader and the mission. Who you place on the team makes a big difference.

The fourth essential is value. The values we hold are based on spirituality. As Christians our value is the love of God and presenting the Gospel of Jesus in a clear manner. Cooperation with each other and following the Lord Jesus Christ is essential to the team’s success.

These four threads must be woven into the individuals of the group to make them one – a team.

The fifth essential is the cause. He said, “For us, we are called to the high calling of Jesus Christ. The cause is worth the cost.”

These five essentials will determine the power of the team.