Consistency in the above two areas will mean that stories, pictures, insights into Bible themes, emphases and principles are worked out and applied to each person and context in a way that expresses just-right relationships with the world, self, others, and God.
A team grasping these and exuding ‘the vibe’ will be evidenced in attitudes to living, interpersonal relationships, an affirmation of the spiritual disciplines, and practices of the Christian tradition.
Recognising, telling, and celebrating stories of this demonstrates that a team has ‘the vibe.’
4. Sensitivity to context
There is no ONE way to be and share God’s Good News concerning the Lord, Jesus Christ. Sensitivity to the whole person in a variety of contexts means that a ministry or mission will not run in a way that is insensitive to those needs. Sometimes a program will be changed on the spot because the people the program hopes to serve are more important. Safety in the context of the program, the people and the place is also a priority.
When the majority of a team ‘gets’ this, a team has ‘the vibe,’ and it’s infectious.
5. A relational – communal approach
Personalized relationships between team members and also with the people a team is hoping to serve are distinctives of this approach. It is not a program-only-at-all-costs approach. The way we work, play, pray, or celebrate WITH each other and those around us combine to communicate something of the love and the community of God.
A team that can ‘WITH’ with people has ‘the vibe.’ A team who can not only do this but can also understand why they need to is gold!
6. Innovative cutting edges
One of the risks we take in ministry and mission is the risk of failure. We can rightly plan and pray about new things, but then sometimes we need to give new things a go. Taking a risk isn’t easy for everyone. Careful planning includes communicating clearly; using the gifts of the team; listening to the cautious; taking counsel from the wise, and using the energy of the fearless to do new things. Don’t do it just because something is ‘new’ lest we begin to worship ‘new’ but do it because the context we live in is changing and we can address change, adapt to change, and be a prophetic voice to our culture and times in and through these new ways.
And when a team can ‘fail forward,’ a team has ‘the vibe.’
7. Creativity and excellence
Imaginative, thoughtful, and reflective methods to communicate God’s Good News can add and build on the tried and true practices. When every team member is encouraged to take initiatives to use their skills, gifts, and ministries, then we are open to the possibility that God can use each one of us in new ways. Discernment, prayer, and training are always vital in helping to release people into their full potential while maintaining a high level of excellence in all that we do.
When each team member senses they are needed, trained and encouraged to have a go, they have ‘the vibe.’
When a team can laugh together and cry together; disagree on this and that and do so with a great deal of respect; play and fight fair; have a laugh at themselves; affirm the joys of living life; not use humour to ride roughshod over people because of perceived shortcomings or disabilities; appropriately and sensitively find the humorous side of things even in the more gravitas moments; and can ‘lighten up’ a little … then a team has ‘the vibe.’
9. Empowering, networking leadership
A leader or a leadership team that can build these sorts of ‘vibes’ in a broader ministry or mission team do so through carefully modeling, teaching, explaining and apprenticing each team member in all these elements.
A leadership that networks to recruit and empower a team in this pattern also does so with the expectation that the team will go on to express this sort of guidance in other spheres of influence. Leadership like this has ‘the vibe.’
10. Relational partnerships
A relational and communal approach spills over into the possibility of partnerships with others. The prayerful and careful relationship often overcomes even significant style differences. A shared project becomes possible as a result. Sometimes the shared project comes first, and prayerful, caring relationships follow. Just sitting down with others to review something or to share strategies for improvement or change can also build a partnership. Possibilities flow!
Whatever the entry point for the partnership, we can travel a short distance alone, but together we can go far. A team that looks for partnerships to help achieve common goals is a team with ‘the vibe.’