Looking back on more than 60 years of life I recognize a number of major shifts that have taken place. One of those shifts is in education: specifically how teaching and learning take place. I still have a photo of my first grade class: desks arranged in perfect order, one behind the other, with eager students standing respectfully beside their desk facing the front of the class. When I visited my granddaughter’s first grade class recently, I noticed the desks are now arranged in small groups of 4-5, students facing one another, still in perfect order – just a different kind of order. The arrangement of the classroom reflects a shift in the basic philosophy of education: learning in teams has, in many instances, replaced individual oriented education.

This concept of team learning carries over into how businesses and organizations are run. In the old school paradigm, individual achievement and success were valued highly in the work place. Now, teams rule. People are hired not only for personal competencies and experience, but for how they fit in with and contribute to the team. EQ has replaced IQ as a desirable quality – does s\he play well with others? The world has awoken to the Bible concept, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” Synergy is the buzz word of the times.

One strategy utilized effectively by healthy teams is the Team Huddle. Huddles are small, short, intimate, energetic, interactive, focused meetings teams have to plan ahead, pass on information and share results. We may understand huddles primarily through association with sports. Teams huddle before, during and after games. They use huddles to strategize, motivate and celebrate. Huddles are about connecting and communicating.

Team huddles are now common in business, care-giving professions, and the military branches. In fact, the word “huddle” originated in the 1800’s from a Prussian General and military theorist for the concept of synchronization and coordination of strategies. Carl Clausewitz would get his team together before and after a battle to appraise the situation, and learn from the successes and failures on the field. Team huddles can and should play a part in churches and religious organizations today.

Unlike the conventional business meeting which is typically associated with boredom, lack of transparency, participation and production; huddles engender trust, openness, commitment, responsibility and results.  One reason why organizations that employee Team Huddles are flourishing is the move away from the top down, command and control model of leadership and placing the decision making power in the hands of people who make things happen. Team Huddles encourage innovation. Team players do not compete with one another; they bring out the best in one another so they can win together.

What do Team Huddles have to do with the vision and mission of Doulos Global?

Now, as a compliment to SPRINT Schools, Doulos Global introduces SPRINT “Huddles.” SPRINT Huddles are a one or two day event designed specifically for teams – particularly ministry teams. For the past forty years, Gail and I have prepared and led short-term mission teams around the world. We have also conducted training events for teams both in the secular and church arena. We want to continue to equip, motivate and release teams within the local church for the purpose of increase and outside the church for community impact.

The starting point for a SPRINT Huddle is to recognize the team God has assembled around you. This is the responsibility of the Pastor or church leadership. Gail and I will not recruit or choose the team. Our role is to take the team God has given you to the win He has ordained. Our simple strategy during a Huddle is to lead the team around a track where they will learn to…

  1. Understand their own passion and gifting as a team player.
  2. Appreciate, communicate and work with other players on your team.
  3. Clarify the purpose, values and goals of the organization.
  4. Execute the corporate strategy as a Team and win.

We call these “SPRINT” Huddles because they take on the basic characteristics of a sprint race which include high energy, intense focus and an instant response. Team sprints are called relays. If you have ever seen a relay team, the sprinters always huddle before and after the event. They develop strengths as a team which are not needed in an individual sprint like trust, unity, synchronized execution and real time communication. 

As a part of our Doulos Global Team, we want you to be aware of this resource we offer. If you are interested in calling a team huddle in your church, ministry, or business and would like our help, please contact us. We are all serving on the greatest Team ever assembled, moving toward the biggest WIN of all times.

“For His “body” has been formed in His image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are built up and made perfect in love.” The Passion Translation

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Andrew Carnegie