This past week I received a note from a reader in response to my article published in the October 2015 Evangelical missions Quarterly. Miguel writes,
“I enjoyed your article on EMQ (How Teams Work: A case Study in Senegal, West Africa), and I was impressed for the way you concluded on regard of the different level of involvement of the members. I am currently writing a book on high-impact teams (in Spanish) and I have a question: How different layers/tiers provide members to next levels? How members increase the involvement and get access to the next level?”
My answer below,
“Thanks for the note and reading the article. As to your questions, the article points out that there are no "steps" in levels of role or leadership. The Beersheba Project team is egalitarian with limited leadership roles. As a football team works in tandem for the completion of the goal, so, too, does the Senegal team. Each member of the BP team work within their areas of giftedness which contributes to the overall goal of reaching their community with the Gospel as well as strengthening the local church. It is because of this structure that makes the Senegal team unique.”
Using sports teams as a metaphor, be it basketball, football or baseball, the only thing that members “compete” for is to be a part of the team. The left tackle doesn’t aspire to be a tight end; the forward does not aspire to be a guard.
Too many times in business, missions and the local church, the ambition to get to the next level of leadership hinders the stated goal. Structure is important, but a team that wins is when everyone is playing to the best of their ability in their position and giftedness.