Matching need with availability
Recently we explored the appointment of another trustee for the local church. (In the UK all churches have to be within a charity structure). The person I wanted (I am Chair) would have much to contribute and would complement the gifting already on the trustee body. But he is a very busy man and so I had a conversation with him spelling out the time commitment I would expect. As we spoke it became clear that, although he was very willing in principle, to load him with another responsibility would be too time consuming.
What is the time for?
It is important to analyse what an individual’s time is needed for. In the case of our trustees I make it clear that I want them for their knowledge and experience, not for hands on activity. Some people are detailed people (I am one!) who are willing and enjoy getting involved in making things happen. Others are more valuable for their knowledge. The time demand on the latter is much less than on those who are implementers. So, in creating a team, be aware of what you want from each member; creative thinking and strategising, or implementation?
Types of time
Time may be considered in various ways e.g. calendar time (ie dates), regular time (ie evenings or Sundays). For instance, a teacher may have chunks of time available in school holidays but very little time to spare during term time.
In order to build a strong team it is important that each member is available for the amount of time required and on the key occasions. In these days of many people working shifts or on Sundays (in the UK) those with the right gifting for a particular team may not be available at times that suit you. If invited to join your team it is important for people to be free to say ‘no’ on the basis of their availability without any sense of ‘letting you down’.
The high value of giving quality time to families etc must be respected, even if a person is the ‘ideal choice’ from your point of view. Alternatively, help them to review their other commitments and priorities so that they can free up some time if their involvement with you is highly significant.
Building a team is not only about bringing together the most gifted and equipped. There are other considerations. We have now seen how spiritual maturity and time availability must be considered. Next time we will look at temperament and ‘heart’s desire’, those matters that people feel passionate about.