20 Questions for Congregational Teams

Today’s Alban Institute Roundtable discussion reviews the proper functioning of congregational staff teams. Susan Beaumont lists 30 characteristics of a healthy team of professional leaders who have separate areas of expertise and overlapping responsibilities.

Most likely, this post resonates with a minority of churches. Most congregations have only one professional leader and even that may be part-time.

But the team concept may still apply to congregations and many of the points may relate. After all, every congregation is a “team” of believers. Even the smallest congregations must perform the basic functions of church and many are doing this with very little outside help.

Small churches unknowingly form “ministry teams.” Let’s measure small congregational teams against 20 of the 30 points made by Susan Beaumont.

  1. Does your congregation have a compelling vision for the future?
  2. Does your congregation take time to hear God’s Voice and find direction in His Spirit?
  3. Is the teaching ministry of your church reaching all members?
  4. Do your members understand the full purpose of “church”?
  5. Are your church goals clearly defined and part of every church activity?
  6. Does your church have the leadership skills needed to reach your congregational goals or do you need to complement your pastor’s skills or availability?
  7. Does your congregation celebrate its accomplishments as a team?
  8. Are the practical needs of the congregation understood and addressed or do you have a large number of members who think the bills are paid and snow is shoveled by magic?
  9. Do you take time as a congregation to examine your ministry for unaddressed needs? Often the needs of the most active members are overlooked!
  10. Does your entire congregation understand that they are part of a team accountable for progress and failure so that either is not entirely attributed to the pastor and select lay leaders?
  11. Is it clear who will plan worship, pay the bills, keep records and care for the property?
  12. Are individuals loved and made to feel important within your congregational team?
  13. Is there a system of checks and balances in all administrative tasks?
  14. Are leadership meetings and congregational meetings focused and productive?
  15. Can your congregation respond to a crisis efficiently?
  16. Is your congregation flexible? Is there room for sharing and teaching jobs or will Mr. Smith always be the treasurer?
  17. Does your congregation take the time to mix up the work teams, so that you can learn new things about member skills and interests and so that members can explore and grow their God-given talents?
  18. Are your members comfortable participants in church life or are they afraid to offer ideas, volunteer, or complain?
  19. Do your members support one another in resolving differences?
  20. Does your congregation have fun? It’s important that members enjoy being together if they are to work well together.