"I've made progress in ______________________________________"

"I'm having difficulty with ___________________________________"

"I need a decision from you on ________________________________"

"I'm thankful for ___________________________________________"

O - Open Communication

Open communication is the cornerstone of great teamwork. Proverbs 13:17 (LB) says, "Reliable communication permits progress." There are three common barriers to great communication:

1. Presumption -- How many problems have been caused by the phrase "But I assumed...."? Here are some fatal assumptions: Assuming that there's only one way to see a problem; assuming that everyone else feels just like you; assuming that someone will never change (they do); assuming that you can know someone else's motives (you can't).

2. Impatience -- Impatience ruins open communication because we are more interested in what we are going to say than listening to what others say. Impatience causes you to jump to conclusions.

3. Pride -- When you think you know it all, you are resistant to feedback, and you become defensive instead of really listening to others and learning.

R - Recognition and Reward

The more credit you give to others, the more you develop team spirit. It's that simple. The Bible says, "Give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due" (Romans 13:7, LB).

K - Keep on Learning

All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop being a leader. As I consult with churches, I've seen that growing churches require growing leaders.

Another proverb says, "The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them" (Proverbs 18:15, LB). Do you do that? Do you encourage your team members to keep on growing, developing and learning? At Saddleback, our staff is constantly reading books and listening to tapes to sharpen our skills and develop our character.

If you practice these eight T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K. values with your team, you'll experience a new level of teamwork in your church that will take your ministry to new heights. May God bless you!

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. Rick is also the author of the #1 New York Times best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."


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