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Grace Community Church, Cross Point Church, and Life Point Church are three churches in Middle Tennessee that God is using in amazing ways to reach people for Christ. I work here with the GCC team in Clarksville and I have been able to partner in ministry with both Cross Point and Life Point and had the joy of connecting with their leadership teams. One of the common connections between these three churches that I have seen is that all three have staffs that actually like each other. Many staff members at all three churches are actual friends who happen to work for and with each other. All thee churches have hired leaders who have amazing ability but also are people they actually enjoy working with. Likability and friendship are major factors that contribute to the health of all three churches. When a staff has a healthy culture the church as a whole is set up better to pursue health. I think we need to take that principle and apply it to the volunteer teams we lead. We need to make sure our most trusted volunteers are people we love and trust as friends, not just drones we give direction to. When Jesus prayed for his followers before his death in the Gospel of John he prayed for us to love each other. I have a much better shot at loving my volunteer team when I seek to put people on my team who I can build a friendship with. When a volunteer (or staff member) becomes a friend I care about that leader, their family, and their success in an authentic way that goes beyond just wanting them to carry out the mission of our organization. Don’t just fill slots on your staff or volunteer team. Look for people who you can connect with on a deeper level. Likability and friendship do matter!