Build Great Teams with the 4 C's!

I have grown up and lived my life around team sports. Since I was a little kid I have always enjoyed being on a team. When a team is firing on all cylinders, it’s obvious to everyone around them. I am a big fan of college football and the NFL. Over the years there have been some great teams that have taken the field. If you have been around me for 10 seconds, you know that I am not a fan of the New England Patriots. Something about them I just can't handle. It's probably all the cheating.

Anyway, as much as I don't like them it's really hard to deny that they have an incredible team. For nearly two decades they have dominated the NFL. Their team with Tom Brady leading the way have incredible chemistry. Everyone knows their role and how their role helps accomplish the goals of the team. You rarely hear of any fighting or selfishness on the field from anyone in a Patriots uniform. The team culture there is second to none.

Teams are incredibly important in your ministry. Your staff is one team. If you don't have a paid staff then you have volunteer leaders that are your team. The people around you in your organization make up your team. In order to be effective in the ministry God has called you to, you need a strong team. The 4 C’s is a tool you can use when hiring someone new or when evaluating a team member’s current role. It’s a great tool to help ensure you hire the right person the first time and that your current team is in alignment with the mission of the church.

Here are the 4 C’s you can use to assess and build a great team.


For the most part this one is really self-explanatory. You can determine this after some time in the interview process, asking questions about past behavior and performance. Obvious questions should be asked.

  • Do they have the right degree for the job?

  • Have they shown a proficiency for this type of role?

  • Do they have the skills, gifts and talents to fulfill this role?

This one is the simplest of the four. It’s also the one I put the least stock in because competency can also be taught. For me this is the lowest hurdle to jump when joining the team.

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When I get to character, I start to dive a little deeper into the person and their past. Who are they really? Do they show signs of integrity? What do people around them have to say? This is a great time to check references and dive a little deeper.

If you’re evaluating a current team member, this is also a crucial test. Are they doing things that seem shady? Have they been found hiding things from others on the team that could cause harm to the church and Kingdom? Are they using church resources wisely and above reproach? Are they doing things that are insubordinate to leadership?

There are a couple of character things that you can do to find yourself immediately terminated or removed from my team. Most of those have to do with moral failures in ministry. However, even some smaller character issues I will do my best to minister to and help someone grow past whatever the issue is. If it is able to be resolved and they are teachable, then the win for me is to develop them into a greater leader and person of character that impacts the Kingdom. That step isn’t taken lightly and is usually accompanied by some sort of improvement plan.


Another word I often use for this is chemistry. Does the person work well with the team? You can see this play out on the professional sports stage. Let’s say you have a star football player who is absolutely amazing on one team. He ends up wanting too much money to extend his contract and so that team sends him to free agency. Another team picks him up for a really high price because that player is an amazing talent. What does the new team expect?

They are expecting that player to show up and immediately perform for them at the same level he did for the last team. What happens so often is that player doesn’t ever perform the same again. Why? Because he was taken out of one team where he had chemistry with the coach, players and system and has been brought into a new situation where he doesn’t have that same chemistry.

When a team member isn’t performing well, it’s not always a competency issue. Sometimes it’s simply a question of, “Do they have chemistry with the rest of the team?” Do they fit the culture or are they a detriment to our ability to move forward because they don’t fit? Don't underestimate how quickly a team member without good chemistry can throw you off course.

I have used the parking lot test to make this simple. When you pull into the parking lot and you see that person’s car, are you happy they are on the team or do you hope to avoid them in the hallway?

Compatibility can make or break your team!


Calling is the make or break part of the 4 C’s. It doesn’t matter how well you did in the previous three if you fail in this fourth area. Are you called to be on this team? Here are the different categories I use to assess whether someone is called to the team or not.

Are you called to the area?

Do you believe that God has called you here to reach people? Can you imagine being anywhere else? If the right paying job came along would you jump ship over night?

These questions can help clarify if someone is called to the specific area where our team is planted.

Are you called to follow my leadership?

Are you called to follow the person that God has leading over you? Will you follow their leadership? Can you submit to their authority? This is not a blind follow in any one person, but if they can’t follow the leader to take the next hill, then that person will be out of alignment and will cause issues on the team. You can ask this at every level of the church or organization. Is this person called to follow the person who is above them in the org chart? If they aren’t called to follow that person’s leadership, they aren’t called to your team.

Are you called to the vision of the church?

Would you die on the hill for our vision? Will you give up this season of your life to make this a reality? Do you believe that the vision of the church is the thing that God wants you to pursue with your life right now? You can’t have an effective person on the team who isn’t called to what you are doing as a church. If you are experiencing this on your team right now, you know what it feels like to beat your head against a wall.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone isn’t a fit for your current team, New Life’s philosophy is, “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.” Some people simply aren’t a good fit for your team and that’s okay. It is not good for them, the church or the Kingdom to languish on a team that isn’t a good fit for them. The best thing to do is to help them find a place where they will be a better fit and to thrive in ministry and you begin the work of replacing them with someone who fits.

When it comes to building a great team in your church or ministry, these 4 C’s can help you determine whether someone is the right fit. They can also be a great assessment tool for current team members.

What would you add to this list?