A few years back, I was tasked with starting a worship team with the aim of developing leaders and musical skill. This was my very first attempt at leading a group from which I learned valuable lessons that continue to inform my leadership philosophy. Being an emerging leader, I did not know what to expect or how to handle the challenging situations that presented themselves. In hindsight, this experience allowed me to reflect in order to lead better.

If you find yourself in a position of leadership and you are wondering where your worship team is in terms of development, here are five stages by Bruce Tuckman you can consider:

evolution forming bannerThis is the initial stage in the evolution of a group. Individuals from different backgrounds, having various past experiences, skills and gifts come together to accomplish certain tasks. At this stage, the followers may seem anxious or excited. Issues of power, inclusion and intimacy may cause apprehension. This is because the followers do not know how they fit into the group and how this group will serve their own needs in the long run.

It is important for the leader to clarify the vision, allow followers to ask questions, model expected behaviour to the followers, and lastly, give the group an opportunity to gel. It is noteworthy that the ensuing culture in a group may stem from how this stage is maneuvered.

evolution storming bannerAs the name suggests, this stage involves conflict. Conflict does not necessarily have to end in division and strife. Every group should strive to use conflict to transform relationships.

In this stage, the followers may feel freer to air their grievances, ideas and opinions. Sometimes, this may also come off as challenging the assigned leader’s authority.

Allowing followers to discuss issues openly while maintaining core team values, may move your team to the next stage.

evolution norming bannerIn this phase, the group may seem more cohesive. Individuals are getting to know each other better and may even give constructive feedback that ultimately advances the processes in the group. In addition, followers who are alienated may begin to work towards group success. There is an increase in clarity of vision and group roles.

The leader can capitalize on this stage by increasing trust. One way to do this is through worship team hang-outs and encouraging truth telling.

evolution performing bannerAfter moving through the stages aforementioned, individuals in the team are best placed to accomplish their assigned goals. This is because they have moved past issues of identity, conflict etc. These followers can now take on their assigned roles with more initiative and may not require much supervision. Teamwork, camaraderie, conflict resolution and task completion are characteristics of this stage. The leader should delegate more in this phase.

evolution adjourning bannerMost teams at one point or another may reach the end of their life cycle. You may find that the vision for which the group was formed has been completed. It may be time to re-envision or to close out the group.

In my experience, the group I was leading did not get past the storming stage. Unfortunately, we closed out. Your story as a leader can be different with the team you are leading. Where do you perceive your team to be in these stages and how can you lead them to perform their God given tasks effectively?