Business teams have somewhat of an advantage over volunteer teams in that a salary is included for those who work in the business. Volunteer teams must depend upon the character and the desire of those on team to participate. This is not always easy to accomplish. Many volunteer teams have experienced the loss of members in a very short time. Why does this take place? And why are some volunteer teams capable of keeping team members for a long time? There is a very simple practice that can secure volunteer team members and retain them for long periods of time. That practice is based upon the development of team relationships.
One of the greatest teachers and leaders of teamwork development that mankind has ever known is Jesus the Nazarene. When Jesus began recruiting his disciples, basically a volunteer team, he had a unique strategy. Jesus began by calling two brothers to follow him, Simon Peter and Andrew, then calling two other brothers to follow him, James and John. Not only were these two sets of men brothers (Simon was Andrew’s brother, James was John’s brother) but they also shared the same occupation. All four men were fishermen by trade.
As Jesus began his ministry on earth his strategy of recruiting his disciples was obvious. To develop a strong volunteer team he began with men who identified with one another, who had a trade in common, and were related.
Many volunteer teams struggle in their organization due to the fact that some of their team members do not identify with one another and do not get enjoy the company of the others. A leader or a volunteer organization would do well to allow team members to help recruit other team members. This is a sign of a good volunteer team leader: One who trusts team members to recruit others to join the team.
When Jesus began his ministry he first found Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. The Bible says that Andrew after being recruited by Jesus found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah.” (John 1:41) Simon then came to Jesus with his brother Andrew and Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon son of John; you shall be called Peter.” (John 1:42)
There are many people who pay close attention to the teachings of Christ but ignore the strategies of Christ. In other words, they pay close attention to what Jesus said but pay little attention to what Jesus did.
If you were in the process of trying to develop a strong and strategic team relationships are absolutely important. You cannot expect your volunteer team to be successful and productive if your team members do not share commonality. If the team members cannot relate to one another there will be many times that disagreements, disharmony and disunity will overpower the vision and strategy of your organization.
As you seek to develop your volunteer team, a major step should be recruiting and developing those who share things in common. When a core-base of people who share common principles are brought together then those of diverse opinions and ideas can be recruited to the team. Jesus recruited a tax-collector for Rome and a Zealot after he built his base of “fishermen.”
Here is another article that talks more about this subject of how Jesus recruited his volunteer team: Jesus and His Motley Crew of Disciples.