Creating a Healthy Environment by Andy Stanley

At the Orange Conference, Andy Stanley shared the following insights about creating a healthy team environment:

“Are you creating an environment where people enjoy serving on your team?

Andy Stanley is involved in the new staff orientation for every new staff person. New staff orientation takes place 4 to 5 times a year and done with all new staff since the last orientation.

A list of questions is sent to all new staff after 3 months and include the following:

  • Do you have all that you need to do your job?
  • Do you see anything that we should do differently?
  • Is there anything we are doing which doesn’t make sense to you?

Another list of questions is sent to all new staff after 1 year. Now that they are more like insiders at this point, the questions change, but the goal of constructive feedback is still the same.

North Point Ministries, Inc. was named the third best place to work in all of Atlanta in 2011.

After years of gathering feedback from new staff, Andy has discovered one thing that we need to do in order to create a better team environment.

Mark 10: James and John asked Jesus for more power and more fame. The other disciples were upset because they wanted the same thing.

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ – Mark 10:42-43

It is ok to pursue greatness and influence, but in Christ’s Kingdom the path is servanthood.

The way to create a healthy environment (team, family, staff) is through mutual submission.

While our responsibilities differ, we are both essential to the success of our mission. If you have non-essential personnel, you are wasting money.

The question mutual submission asks is ‘how can I help?’

The Old Testament ideas of an anointing, a special blessing, the king, the prophet, etc. are not part of the New Testament. The only time the word ‘anointed’ is used in the New Testament comes when describing every believer – all who have the Spirit of God in them. When pastors believe they are more important than all the others, they foster this wrong type of thinking.

If you are anointed, you should be the best servant in your organization.

Here are some of the best practices:

  • Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. (ex. Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda while passing by others needing to be healed. Jesus did not buy into the idea that if I buy you one then I have to buy one for everyone). Do not be fair. Be engaged.
  • Systematize top-down service. Ask your leadership team: what is one thing I can do to help you accomplish the goals God has put on your heart for our organization? Figure out how you can leverage who you are and the influence you have to serve your team.
  • Create and maintain a sustainable pace. We don’t have time to serve our teams because we haven’t organized our lives in a way that leaves time to do so.
  • Celebrate and reward mutual submission when you see it. In staff meetings, they ask: Who has reached across departments to help you accomplish your goals? What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided.
  • Confront your ego. Do you secretly see your staff as a cast of characters there to help you succeed?
  • Drop the term loyalty from your vocabulary. The word ‘loyalty’ didn’t even make the list of the fruit of the Spirit! Jesus’ followers chose to stay because of what He said, what they saw, and how He served. ‘Where would we go?’

Jesus is our model, so let’s get this right!”



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