complementary strengthsGreat teams absolutely require complementary strengths. They’re not productive if everyone is alike: you’ll get the same great strengths coupled with the same weaknesses. Like a good marriage, you need enough differences to give you the right kind of chemistry and effectiveness as you work together.

Ephesians 4:11-16—in addition to providing diversified leadership skills for a team—also allows the possibility for members to follow each other’s faith in areas of effectiveness and vision.

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

A team member who is good at being sensitive to newcomers can not only make people feel welcomed, but can lead the rest of the team in helping make the overall system more accessible to new people by recommending things like eliminating insider language and making the path to connection more obvious. These are things other team members might not think to do on their own.

Likewise, the rest of the staff can follow someone with apostolic gifts, leaning on and trusting their faith and sense of direction. Of course, this only works if members of the team trust one another. But if they do, following each other’s strengths can lead to greater effectiveness as a collective whole. In assembling your team this way, you can collectively cover more ground than you can if you find people who are just like yourself.

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