The old saying “There is no I in team” can really be put into play when looking at the building process of a team. I experience this first hand when I play volleyball in college. All four years we have had new members join and old members leave. Although it was sad to watch some of my favorite teammates leave, this is a part of life. People come in and out of our lives for different reasons. I was lucky enough to have people show me what it means to be a team.
However, my team building skills did not stop with athletics. I have been a part of many a retreat team during my high school years. It is here that I am blessed with the fortune of working with people who were on fire for Christ and had different team skills other than just athleticism.
Now that I am running retreats of my own, I am able to remember the different aspects of building a retreat team. I made a deal with our campus priest: I said I would run a retreat on campus this summer. I plan on bringing a whole new group of individuals who are not involved with the Spirituality Group, or many groups on campus. They wouldn’t be just upperclassmen; it would be comprised of sophomore and juniors. Think I’m crazy?
I intend to co-lead this retreat with another senior. Once the retreat is all said and done, the co-leadership will be passed down to two juniors (who will be seniors the following year). It becomes their responsibility to bring in a whole new group of individuals. The leaders from the year before can become a part of the support team, which I discussed in an earlier column, who run the entire retreat behind the scenes.
As I explain this idea, the first piece of advice from others given to me was “Good luck!” It truly shocks me how many people do not think this is possible. When developing a team there a few requirements to keep in mind:
Some of the most obvious reasons to choose a team member is if they have shown leadership skills. We must also look at how well they work with others. Again, there is no I in team!
The team leaders must show promise in developing their faith. If I pick the Holiest of Holy, then first of all, I do not belong anywhere in this retreat process! We need to choose team members who need Christ in their lives; this includes picking people who don’t always have the best track record. Remember this Bible passage: Luke 7:38-50. If Jesus’ forgiveness can go to these extremes, we can set aside our differences in selecting the team that God is choosing for us.
We must also remember that we are called to lead a group of candidates. This can make us very proud. Allow this next statement to humble you: The candidates are only being called for the weekend. God is calling us, the team members and support team, for the entire four-month (or more) process. Now who needs it more?
We must remember to pray, pray and pray some more. I cannot say it enough. God will give us the people we need, we just have to ask. Matthew 7:7. Happy searching!
Christina Mastroeni is a senior at Holy Family University and an intern at CatholicPhilly.com.