Overcoming Bad Team Chemistry

Every year, it never fails.  With the start of the NFL and NCAA college football programs just around the corner, there is an atmosphere of hope!  In fact, with the start of every season in every sports league, the start of the new year brings new hope that this will be THEIR year to win the championship.  No matter what happened last year, THIS YEAR is their year.

Sounds cliche but it really is true.  That is why we need GOOD team chemistry.
Sounds cliche but it really is true. That is why we need GOOD team chemistry.

As teams worked all offseason on the right roster moves, training and preparation to make this a winning season.  But one component that every team must carefully consider is team chemistry.  That is what the 2013 Boston Red Sox had.  That is what made them champions.  They didn’t necessarily have the best talent, although they had quality players.   But what they lacked in skill and talent, they made up in unity of the team and they became champions in part because of their chemistry.

Team Chemistry is a huge part of our ministries as well.  When our ministry teams have good and proper chemistry, we win as individuals and a team and the people we are ministering to win as well.

However, when we have poor team chemistry, we all lose.  Not only is there tension amongst the team but the people we are ministering to can sense it and even hear about.  That can cause some people to think, “I thought these guys were Christians” and wonder why people just can’t get along…especially believers.

So, how do you overcome bad team chemistry?

  • Continually instill vision and mission into the team.  Make sure the team is all on the same page.  Your teams should know why you are doing what you are doing.  In addition, they need to understand how their potentially negative actions and attitudes towards each other can negatively impact others in regards to a relationship with Christ.  Good team chemistry draws students to Christ.  Bad team chemistry pushes people away from Christ.  The team has to understand and agree to this.
  • Organize team events outside of ministry. These are big for me. If all you and your team do is “work” together, you are mission a great opportunity to get to really know and understand each other.  Have fun, do a group builder, have a pot luck dinner, whatever it is you can do outside of ministry where you can get to know each other is worth a shot (just as long as you all aren’t going to bars getting drunk and having orgies together…that’s probably NOT a good idea :)).
  • Talk to bad chemistry.  I’ve had a few bad eggs on my teams before and instead of uniting the team, they divided it and all it did was wreck havoc on the team. So, if any person(s) on your team are creating the bad chemistry amongst the team, you need to sit down and talk it out with them.  Hopefully through the talk, it can be worked out and the team can get on the same page and do great work together.  If not, then you need to do what is below.
  • Get rid of the bad chemistry. This is obviously a last resort, but if the leader(s) with bad chemistry continue to hamper the ministry, you have to let them go.  The mission of your ministry is too important to get sidetracked by a leader(s) who seem to be hurting it more than helping.

Ministry teams with good chemistry have the opportunity to glorify and honor God in all that they do, thus making a huge impact for Christ.  However, if they fail at have good chemistry, they demonstrate a dysfunction that can prohibit students from experiencing Christ.  That is why, as hard as it may be to confront, as the Head Leader, you need to nip the bad chemistry in the bud and fix it as soon as possible.  If not, you run the risk of doing more harm in the lives of students than good.

Where does your team stand?  Do you have good chemistry or bad chemistry?  If you have good chemistry, share below what you do to maintain that.  If you have bad chemistry, can you do to overcome it?

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *