How many licks to the center to a Tootsie Pop? No matter how hard various cartoon creatures have tried, they have all failed to slowly make to the candy center. Because it's the center—that tootsie roll (or bubble gum) core—that everyone loves. It's that core that makes a Tootsie Pop what it is. Otherwise, it's just another run-of-the-mill lollipop. Likewise, there are certain elements that make an effective team: diversity, trust, competence, empowerment, and dialogue.
I haven’t always been a big fan of teams. My perception of teams was what is commonly known as the 80/20 rule—20% of the people are doing 80% of the work. I generally equated “team” with “committee” and saw both as sterile ground for finding solutions and fertile forums for discord. It was not until I arrived at UBA in 1990 that I encountered a learning culture that differentiated between a group of people on task and a truly high performance team.
Over the years, I have often heard the phrase, “It’s quicker if I just do it myself.” But is that really true when it comes to leadership? The problem with this approach is that it does not take the long view. It saves time only in the short term. You accomplished in a few seconds or a minute or two what it might have taken you half an hour or more to train someone else to do, but you have trapped yourself. Can we use those extra minutes to invest a bigger opportunity?
Every month, we feature people, events, and ministries we want our people to pray for. So, join us as we pray to and praise God for what He's done, because we're always better together.
Recently, I was told that I have the best work/life balance of anyone on the team. We were joking because I never leave vacation on the table at the end of the year, and I fuss at the other staff if they do. UBA doesn’t hire slackers, so it is not uncommon for one of the staff to get a little wrapped up in work, the to-do list, and unexpected challenges that arise. Before you know it, things are out of balance.
Over the years, however, I’ve come to believe that holding all the areas of my life in balance before God brings honor to him. My theology about balance involves the belief that all the aspects of my life are meant to be lived fully to the glory of God. Here's what that has looked like for me.
Although it's long passed, I want to share with you a practice my husband and I use on Good Friday to deepen our observance of the day. We call it “Go Silent; Go Dark.” It is especially meaningful on the day that we remember the crucifixion of Christ, but it is also a practice that can be implemented at any time of the year to slow your life down, heighten your focus on spiritual things, and increase your openness to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit.
In an age where we're easily divided into camps, churches must fight to remember our common purpose. We must make an effort to be counter-cultural, not only in what we believe but also in the way we live it out. At UBA, we're proud to have several examples of churches doing innovative collaboration, pooling resources, and working together to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of those stories:
The church is getting some tragically and disturbingly well-deserved bad press these days. I do not excuse the bad actions of any who are a part of the church. We are all responsible for being light and salt in our world, and the church must take care to provide a safe and secure environment.
However, when my adult daughter and I have conversations about the state of the church, I remind her of her grandma, a powerful example of a loving life. Even in the midst of bad publicity we've brought upon ourselves, the church is still filled with good people quietly doing good things. That's worth taking a moment to remember.