The idea that everyone is equal is a lie. We get out of alignment when we try to lead as if everyone is equal. People on a team inherently know this; but when the leader treats everyone as equal the people can easily become deceived. When you act as if everyone is equal a number of things happen. People with less gifting become insecure out of a desire to “live up” while people with more gifting become “puffed up.” Acting as if everyone is equal on the team can frustrate the most committed of team members and confused the least committed.
The battle as a leader is to stay clear about the differences on your team while not falling into favoritism. James 2 instructs us in the danger of playing favorites. It is wrong to treat certain members of your team better than others. Each person matters deeply to God. While each person has intrinsic value, there is inequality in the levels of capability and commitment on any team. The key is to value people at a high level while acknowledging not everyone is equal.
The truth is everyone on your team falls into one of 3 groups:
Crowd – The crowd is made up of people are sporadic in frequency as they serve. They are loosely connected to the team.
- What to know about the Crowd – they identify themselves with the team. When you are highly committed to something you have ability to under appreciate the dedication of everyone else. Though the crowd is not your most consistent bunch, they see themselves as insiders on the team.
- What to do for the Crowd – communicate appreciation and value. They need to know that they are appreciated as part of the team, and that what they do has great value.
Core – The core is made up of your highly consistent volunteers. They are your regulars whom you count on ahead of time.
- What to know about the Core – their consistency must be nurtured and encouraged. Many people have seasons of consistency, but a legacy of consistency is hard to come by. That leads into the one thing to do for the core…
- What to do for the Core – encourage and inspire them around the vision. Give them the fuel and backing to be a consistent team member for the long run.
Center – The center is made up of you and the (typically) few people of whom you could hand over the keys to the Kingdom. They embody the vision and culture of the team.
- What to know about the Center – they are limited or freed up by the leader to take new territory. They are capable of growing the team in the right way, and the leader either frees them up to do so or stifles their growing leadership.
- What to do for the Center – give them opportunity to take new ground for the team.