Greetings. I am Royal L. Harrison, Director of the Greater Los Angeles Region, and I want to introduce you today to our fifth and final core value: Relationships and Team. When we think of a team, we think of a group as small as two people, hundreds of people, or even thousands of people. Whether your team is small or large, research has shown that there are essential elements that all healthy teams strive to implement. 

  1. They strive to choose the right people. 
  2. They strive to find people who are committed to the same mission and purpose.
  3. They strive to have clear and open communication.
  4. They strive to build their team with those who possess strengths that complement one another.
  5. They have shared values and goals.
  6. In order to have a healthy and strong team, there must be cooperation from everyone.
  7. Conflict management. 

Research has shown that these seven keys are essential in building a strong, successful, and lasting team. Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, but working together is success.” The Southern California Conference recognizes that in order for us to fulfill the divine purpose for which we exist, it will take a team effort. And as it is stated in our core value “we, the Southern California Conference, are committed to honoring each other’s gifts, talents, and strengths, united together” there it is! – that’s team “to accomplish Christ’s mission.” 

You don’t read very far in the Bible before you recognize that God is a God who is in relationship.

However, core value number five begins with “relationship.” It states: “We value relationships and are unapologetic in our love.” It goes without saying that the God we serve is a God of relationship. You don’t read very far in the Bible before you recognize that God is a God who is in relationship. For within the first 26 verses of the Bible we read God saying, “Let us make man in our image and in our likeness,” which intimates that God is not alone. The words “let us,” “our image,” and “our likeness” reveal to us that God is relational. Then the Bible goes on to say that God said, “it was not good for man to be alone: I will make him a helpmate.” Therefore, He created us to be relational as well.

That is why, in the Southern California Conference, one of our core values is relationship. We recognize that there must be an intentionality in the workplace environment that helps to foster and encourage healthy relationships among employees and volunteers. There must be an environment of trust, integrity, honesty, openness, a forum where one can be transparent without fear of retaliation, a place where one’s gifts can make room for them and not only be celebrated but elevated. 

Relationships are critical to the health and well-being of a team.

Relationships are critical to the health and well-being of a team. There is evidence that when there are healthy relationships within a team, the benefits are enormous: there is greater collaboration amongst workers, there is improved productivity, it boosts morale, it inspires creativity, it increases retention of workers, and one of the greatest benefits is that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace.

The Southern California Conference is committed to creating a working environment that fosters healthy relationships within the workplace, that honors and celebrates the diversity of gifts and talents, that maximizes the creativity and collaboration that comes out of working together, and continuing to develop best practices that will ensure that these things are in place—both now and in the future.

May God continue to bless us as we strive to build our teams around healthy and productive relationships, that as we work together, as we pray together, as we stay together, that God may use our finite efforts and combine them with His infinite power that we may reach the masses for His glory and the building up of His kingdom.  

May God richly bless you and us as we each do our part for His glory!