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We can't overstate the importance of well-functioning teams in YWAM. Whether it is a school leadership team, an outreach team, a new urban evangelism or a base leadership team we need to know how to form and improve our team functioning.

Forming New Teams

Importance of Purpose -- the Purpose of Purpose!

Let's start at the very beginning, A very good place to start, When you read you begin with A-B-C, When you sing you begin with do-re-mi -- so sings Maria in The Sound of Music.


The first 3 minutes and first 3 days when we get together can cement in the minds of the team members what sort of people, organization and purpose we are and have. It may take more than a life time to erradicate a wrong perception so it matters how we present ourselves and what we communicate in those first 3 minutes and 3 days.

Stages New Teams Go Through

When beginning teamwork, it takes some time to get along. While not all groups may follow this process, and it may take hours or years to complete it, these are typical issues: (This model was proposed by Tuckman in 1965.)

  1. Forming
    At the beginning, the participants of a team need some time of getting to know each other. Performance is low, as there is a high uncertainty: what can I expect from others? How am I expected to behave?
  2. Storming
    Next, conflicts begin to arise. While discussing (seemingly) fundamental questions about the task, goals and modalities, the unspoken question is: who will take the lead? This negotiation of roles may be exhausting emotionally.
  3. Norming
    At this stage a feeling of belonging together starts to grow, roles are mutually accepted, and the group can now solve the question of norms: how will we work? is it okay if I'm coming late to a meeting? Etc.
  4. Performing
    Finally, coordination issues are settled and the group begins to be productive in terms of fulfilling their task.

Also consider the Adjourning (the finishing and dissolving of a team) and also Reforming (adding a new mix of members into the team, substantially changing the dynamic)

Team Cohesion

These questions will help determine the degree the team is uniting personally and about their team goals.

Please answer questions 1 through 10 below based on your experiences during your current position.

Strongly disagree Disagree Neither Agree Strongly Agree
1. Team leader established clear work objectives
2. Team leader was interested in my personal welfare
3. Team leader delegated work effectively
4. Team leader let members know when they did a good job.
5. Team leader avoided micromanaging members work
6. Team leader was interested in what I thought and felt about things
7. I developed close relationships with other team members
8. I could go to other team members for help when I had a problem
9. I spent time with other members during non-duty hours
10. I consider other team members my friends

Team Building Exercises


For ways to process strategy as a group or other things that it is important to work on together this article on Group processing and planning tools might be useful.