I once heard a pastor remark, “Ministry would be great, if it weren’t for the people.” While I understand what he meant, I cringe at the sentiment. Leaders have a stewardship of responsibility for how they serve and lead their team members. Whether they are paid or volunteer team members, leaders have an imperative to serve and lead well. We need our team members. We are blessed to have team members. Our team members are persons created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
Therefore, leaders must value team members. Whether celebrating a team member’s contributions or working through challenging circumstances with a team member, leaders must always value the team member as a person, created in God’s image.
What does it mean to value our team members? To value someone means that you appreciate them. You consider him or her as important and worthwhile. Jesus continuously modeled valuing people. Whether he was speaking with a woman caught in adultery, a man whose son had died, sisters whose brother had died or religious leaders who sought to entrap him, Jesus valued people.
What does it look like to value our team members?
- Do little things that make a big difference.
- Create new opportunities or team members to use their gifts and passions.
- Do for one what you wish you could do for all.
- Show you trust them.
- Make team culture improvements, especially in the area of communication.
- Make time to connect.
- Make mentorship part of the culture.
- Give them ownership of the mission, vision & strategy.
- Acknowledge their efforts and contributions.
- Offer constructive criticism rather than just complain.
- Pray for God to help you see people as individuals to love not as tools to use.
When team members feel valued, they are internally motivated to go the extra mile. They find a sense of worth and contentment in their role. Valued team members contribute to a healthy team culture.
A little bit of effort goes a long way.