5 Ingredients to an Empowered Team

As pastors and leaders we fulfill a unique leadership role in a one of a kind organization. It is our job to equip and enable the people in our community to be the church to our community. We are instructed to lead and then get out of the way. In light of that the most impactful thing we can do is to clearly empower our teams (both staff & volunteer). 

Special thanks to  emdot  for the photo (modified). 

Special thanks to emdot for the photo (modified). 

There 5 ingredients to an empowered team: 

1. Clear Goals

What are the measurable targets we are trying to hit? Why are they important? Is everyone crystal clear on what’s most important right now? 

2. Clear Strategy

If we’ve laid out our goals, how do we plan on getting there? What’s the game plan for now? An empowered team needs to know what the plan is, even if that plan changes once it meets reality. 

3. Clear Roles

Who’s responsible for what? Remember, assumptions will kill progress. Clarifying who’s responsible for what saves frustration and last minute scrambling. Write it down, the more detail the better. Personal note: I’ve got myself in trouble when I didn’t clarify tasks beyond categories. Clarify what the role includes. 

4. Clear Boundaries 

If you team is going to feel empowered they need to know what their boundaries are. A lack of boundaries means you will spend your time refocussing their efforts. Which are the pieces you need each person to own and deliver on? What can they make decisions around, what's off limits? 

5. Clear Communication/Feedback Loops

Once you send your team on task, how do you make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get feedback to the right people? Are you asking them for your thoughts? Once Sunday is done, we often set our focus on the next 7 days. Do you take time to get feedback from your team? Send them an email on Sunday night or Monday morning. Close the feedback loop. 



I leave you with this, a reminder of how important it is to be clear. Bill Hybels recalled a conversation he had with a churchgoing buisinessman during a conference at Willow Creek. He said, "Bill will you speak with my pastor?..."

“Tell him to put a target on the wall. Any target on any wall! People like me just need some direction, some reason, any reason for staying in this game. I’m dying here. I’m dying here.”
— Bill Hybels “Four Things You Must Do"