Teams That Break Through Walls and Barriers

If progress is to be made in new territory, every leader needs a wall to come down.

On any given week, you may face anything from a speed bump to a hurdle to get over. But there are some seasons where you stare at what feels like a wall, maybe a huge wall, and wonder how you will get through it.

That is leadership.

That is the road of progress.

That’s where great teams bond together, with their leaders and God, to fight for a breakthrough.

Barriers always exist for churches and leaders who are making progress in Heaven’s work, and there’s always a way through. It’s the leader’s job to find that way.

It’s not easy, typically not fast, and sometimes there is a curve or change you didn’t see coming, but there is a way to keep moving forward.

What wall might you be facing?

  • You can’t find the staff you need.
  • Your financial position is stressed.
  • You are in desperate need for more space now.
  • There is conflict or division in the church.
  • Perhaps something at home that seems insurmountable.

You are praying and working toward breakthrough.

When your church has a barrier to break through, it’s not just one gifted leader that makes it happen. It’s the strength found in the culture of a team and how they work together that allows the breakthrough.

We know the attributes that great team players have individually, such as:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Humility
  • Drive
  • Adaptability

But what are the some of the primary ways in which great leaders function together as a connected, focused, and motivated team?

What are the team characteristics that are most likely to lead to a breakthrough?

1) Breakthrough Teams believe that God is in it.

Teams that lead to a breakthrough do not take their work casually, and they deeply believe God is in it with them.

Breakthrough teams understand the nature of a divine partnership with God. What they lead is not just a good idea, it’s a God idea.

The reason it’s so important to understand and believe in this spiritual partnership is because the enemy creates resistance, barriers, and walls that we can’t get through on our own.

(Yes, sometimes we create our own barriers, but God will still help us.)

Ultimately you can’t lead what you don’t believe. Faith is a critical pathway for every leader to gain the needed breakthrough.

2) Breakthrough Teams are strongly unified at a soul level.

Breakthrough teams are unified with each other and the vision. Unity is not an option. Unity multiplies strength, loyalty and effectiveness. 

This kind of unity allows teams to care about each other at a deep level. They want what is best for each other personally and for their families. When one falls, they are there to pick them up.

This doesn’t mean they are without disagreement, however the vision is always held above the disagreement.

Breakthrough teams never forget why they are on the team together and remain fiercely focused on the goal. Sloppy, double-minded, and an uncommitted nature are not tolerated.

3) Breakthrough Teams trust the key leaders.

Team trust is built on a foundation of openness and honesty. It takes time, the relational risk of vulnerability, and a willingness to be held accountable.

For the sake of context, we are assuming great character among the leaders. This means that intentions are always good, but perfection is not expected.

With this as the context, breakthrough teams trust each other to speak the truth, including the last 10%. There is no pretense and no hallway gossip. If there are questions or concerns, they speak up.

Remember, there is a difference in asking a question of someone and questioning someone. One seeks information, the other considers motive or character.

Great team members know the difference.

4) Breakthrough Teams lead and follow in uncertainty.

I love the Old Testament story found in Joshua chapter six that describes the Israelites marching around Jericho. That’s an amazing story of leadership, faith, uncertainty and victory.

They did not know for certain, even those with the greatest faith, that the walls would actually fall.

But they marched and kept marching day after day. That is our responsibility, keep going.

Resilience within the culture of a team is critical to achieve the most challenging kinds of breakthroughs. We must often bounce back from setbacks before we achieve larger goal.

As you lead, the few things that are certain become precious, they become the north star of our faith. Things like:

  • God has promised to be with us
  • Jesus will return
  • God is about reaching the lost
  • This is His Church

Breakthrough teams hold on to what they know for certain, they hold tight to the promises of God while leading through uncertainty.

5) Teams that break through walls and barriers resolve conflict while in motion.

Teams that care about each other, play well together, and remain unified toward the vision – still experience conflict. The goal is healthy resolution of conflict not avoidance of conflict.

Breakthrough teams on the move don’t stall progress or sought-after momentum to solve internal conflict, they have learned to solve disagreements on the go.

How do these healthy and productive teams manage this admittedly difficult task? Here are some practical tips.

  • Own your stuff. Take responsibility for your contribution of the conflict.
  • Always give the benefit of the doubt to the other person or persons.
  • Check your own heart for insecurities.
  • Get to the conversation quickly.
  • Put the good of the team over your preference.
  • Remember that an honest conversation, no matter how difficult, in an environment of trust nearly always goes better than you anticipate.

I hope these 5 practices are helpful to you. Perhaps you can take them to your team meeting and have a conversation on where your strengths and weaknesses are.

2 thoughts on “Teams That Break Through Walls and Barriers”

  1. Vaughan Fleischer

    Thank you Dan,
    a phenomenal recipe for a structured, God-fearing, God-moving team structure. I truly appreciate the simplicity as nothing complex is required in any part of the 5 steps.
    All the best and look forward to further insight in how to grow both in Christ Jesus, as well as living that growth out amongst my brothers and sisters in faith.

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