It’s time to plan spring and summer ministry projects – an exciting time! However, as you gather your leadership team to make a list of the needs within the church and community, the list quickly becomes too long to reasonably tackle. As the leader, you recognize that the team needs to determine what projects your ministry can complete. So, how do you come to a decision? Vote by a raise of hands?
Even though many business meetings are handled through voting under Robert’s Rules of Order, I do not think voting is a great tool when leading a ministry team. Why? It creates a group of winners and losers which can lead to hurt feelings and possible factions within the group.
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25
When making a decision as a team, consensus-building is a much better team-building process than voting. By building a consensus, you are helping your team to collectively agree on the wiser choice.
How do you build a consensus? One of the best ways is to help your team evaluate important questions and considerations together. Let’s use the example of the ministry projects issue. Following are the questions you would want to consider:
How urgent is this need? Compare it to the urgency of the other projects, and weigh it. Some projects may be taken on at a later time.
How great is the need? The idea with the greatest need should be weighted higher.
Which idea has the greatest potential for a spiritual return on investment? Every recommended project should make a spiritual impact. Spiritual impact always trumps a physical and material impact.
How do-able is the project given time constraints, resources and the availability of the women for this project?
How well acquainted is the team with the project’s benefactors? Your team may be much more committed and enthusiastic about serving people they know, or at least know about (some educating may be necessary here).
How comfortable are the team members with this project? This is not about only doing what feels safe, but the overall comfort level that this is the right project.
As you lead your team in answering the questions, have each team member discuss and rank her answers using a simple scoring system. For example: 2 – Minimal, 4 – Average, 6 – High, 8 – Exceptional
These considerations will drive honest discussions which will allow each team member to feel heard and know that she was part of the decision-making process. As a leader in ministry, you can learn the art of consensus-building which will build cohesiveness and community while facilitating our Great Commission.
BONUS: Leave a comment sharing how you build consensus among your team and be entered to win a copy of Talking is a Gift: Communication Skills for Women by Rhonda Kelley and Monica Rose Brennan. Winner will be randomly selected from comments left by April 27, 2016.