High-Performance Team Characteristics


I have had the pleasure and honor of serving in the Celebrate Recovery ministry for nine years. I began as a participant and then started my journey of being a greeter, food volunteer, leader, coach, and lead pastor of the ministry. Below is a description of some of the successful high-performance team characteristics and some that were not so successful 

Common Purpose: The common purpose of the Celebrate Recovery ministry, according to the creating organization, Saddleback Church 2021, is "Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. We all have hurts, and if we don't walk through them authentically with Jesus, we can get hung up and pursue destructive habits. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to work through them. This Jesus-centered 12-step program is open to anyone looking for freedom" (p.1). The Celebrate Recovery ministry provides training materials for its leadership team in which it clearly states the purpose of the outreach ministry. I was impressed with how well it was received and understood by different ministries all over the world. I believe that leadership is tasked with conveying whatever vision or purpose the teams should strive to achieve. 

Crystal Clear Roles- This characteristic was seen in both positive and negative ways. As a participant, I saw the ministry operate will well-defined and well-explained roles. Even as a participant, I was instructed on what participants could and could not do. On the other hand, as the pastor of the ministry, my role became unidentified due to my inability to delegate appropriately. It was not uncommon to find me running back and forth and all over the place spread thin. I often found myself saying, " I need to do as much as I can myself so I don't overwork my team and they quit when I need them the most." This became evident when a Celebrate Recovery State representative came to grade the program. The ministry received a perfect score, except for the CR pastor's lack of delegation. That was a hard thing for me. I remember going home and crying while telling myself that I failed my team. Thankfully, God used my mother (may she rest in peace) and my incredible mentor, Marvin Gant (may he rest in peace), to help me see that no one is perfect, everyone has a part in the body of Christ, God can use us despite our flaws, oh and most importantly that the CR representative was correct I needed to delegate before I burn myself out.

Accepted Leadership- I have been blessed to have been a part of the ministry, starting as a participant and then moving into a leadership position and leading the ministry. My path through the ministry gave me a firm foundation and a birds-eye view of all the roles within the ministry. I understood many points of view, which gained the trust of all involved in the ministry. 

Effective Processes- I experienced both positive and negative characteristics. The ministry created by Saddleback church created a fantastic guide and model to follow. However, it is up to each church on how to implement the more minor details. Unfortunately, this is where much of the uniformity of the ministry is lost. Many facilities are operating how they feel the ministry should serve. If they do what is needed to pass their inspection, they can change what they are doing afterward, which can, unfortunately, make the ministry less effective and lessen the overall goal and impact. 

Solid Relationships- This characteristic has always been positive. There is such diversity and zero tolerance for disrespect or bad behavior towards any participant. This is one of the characteristics I enjoyed the most within the ministry. Everyone was so different, yet we were all children of God created in HIS image, which has always been fascinating. 

Excellent Communication- Unfortunately, this was an issue that I struggled with not only within the ministry but also from church leadership who felt as if the ministry was not needing the same support as other ministries. Often, I found myself in meetings fighting for support for the ministry from the leadership teams. It was not until right before COVID that leadership was gaining progress only to have to close due to the pandemic. As far as the ministry itself, there was excellent communication due to transparency and openness. We had authentic discussions and plans for any assistance that our participants may have needed, such as suicide hotlines, homeless shelters, caseworkers, etc. 

Overall, the Celebrate Recovery Ministry was one ministry in which I saw so many lives change. I can only express this ministry with the following scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, "Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to all to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I did not take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I have become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!" (1 Corinthians, 9:19-23). 


MacMillan, Pat. 2001. The Performance Factor. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman. 

SaddleBack Christian Church, (2001). What Is Celebrate Recovery? Retrieved from https://saddleback.com/connect/ministry/celebrate-recovery 



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