Heart of the City Church, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is a pastor’s delight. As I arrived on campus, Pastor Jonathan Owens (JO), began to share how the present team was his dream team. All cylinders were firing and the machine was purring. They were not sure they needed any outside help because there were no problems or conflicts.
What We Found
I was invited in to motivate and help them continue to be the team they already were; passionate, sold out and on fire team. Everything I was told was and still true. They were and are a great team. But great teams still have stress, hurts and areas that need to be built up. This team was no exception.
Our team has operated more cohesively even in just the short time since Bill was with us. We know that this investment into our staff will pay dividends for years to come. Raydeane and I couldn't be more thankful for the impartation that Bill brought to our team.
How We Worked Together
Friday morning started off with great anticipation by the team and their spouses as we had the next four hours together to explore how they could go to the next level. As I generally do, we started out by getting acquainted and having the team help design our time together and what outcomes would be most helpful. Teams know their needs better than someone coming in from the outside.
Together we spent the next two hours exploring what a team is, how it is different than a work group and the characteristics of a healthy team. Taking time to see where teams fail and what actions are needed to restore healthy was an eye opening experience. Looking beneath the surface and examining deeper opened the door to acknowledging weakness and needs existed even in a dream team.
Personally speaking, this process challenged me to address some long forgotten wounds that I didn't realize were still playing a role in how I responded to situations, I walked away feeling better equipped as a pastor, husband, father, and friend.
Our final hour was spent in learning how to be deeply transparent and finding strength in doing so. Individually sharing a challenging experience from childhood allowed others to see what helped form personalities and default responses. While some struggled at the beginning, all managed to find strength, new understanding of themselves and others. Without exception, this was the most rewarding few minutes of the day. Perceptions were changed and lives transformed.
What They Received
Pastor JO expresses it this way: “We discovered that our perceptions of successes and weaknesses vary greatly. This can cause a disconnect between team members who find themselves on different sides of a topic. Bill skillfully brought us to a point of a common understanding of how to bridge the gap through trust and conversation.”
Starting at great, this team found that they could become even more effective and supportive of each other. They were able to build deeper trust resulting in greater understanding of motives, actions and ministries. With this deeper trust, team members are able to extend extraordinary grace when things go wrong. There is greater appreciation by all the team members for what others bring to the team and how each one is needed to move to the next level.
Dr. Graybill's ability to navigate our team to a new level of trust and transparency in just a few hours was a combination of thought-provoking ideas and concepts and profound first hand accounts of conflict resolution and restoration. This is one team building investment you don't want to omit from your budget.