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How to Do a Team SWOT Analysis
By Jeannette Buller Slater
You know the scenario…your mission team leader has just called you and
asked if you would come to the team meeting on Thursday to help them set a new
direction for the year. With new members on the team, there’s great energy to see
some new initiatives started. You don’t want to walk in empty-handed but you
really want to see the team take ownership for the direction they choose. How can you help them catch a
fresh vision for missions?
Coaching, whether with an individual or a team, starts with the premise that God has already been
speaking to those you coach and your role is simply to ask the right questions to help the coachee
discover that direction. When coaching a team, one of the challenges is to help each person on the team
participate and yet keep the whole team moving in the same direction.
Before setting new direction, it’s always good to begin by evaluating where you are right now.
Getting ‘the lay of the land’ will enable you to see, evaluate and celebrate what God has already been
doing. You will also be able to assess on-going ministry opportunities and resources you can take
The SWOT Model
A great tool to help you do this with a team is the SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The tool is a 4 quadrant square (see example on next page).
Strengths and Opportunities are positioned on the left side of the square, encompassing the positive
aspects of your situation. The Weaknesses and Threats, on the right side, help you look at the challenging
aspects of your ministry situation. Strengths and Weaknesses are on the top, primarily focused on
internal aspects of the ministry while Opportunities and Threats, on the bottom, focus on external
aspects of your situation.
When working with a team you will need a writing space large enough, such as a white board, to
capture the teams input. We suggest that you begin by asking the team what strengths they see in the
existing ministry. It’s always good to start out with the positive and take time to celebrate what God is
already doing. Then move on to Weaknesses, Opportunities (not yet taken advantage of) and Threats or
obstacles that would keep the team from accomplishing their goals. Try to exhaust ideas for each list
before going on to the next.
As a coach you will need to help the team keep the focus on the present ministry and not get side-
tracked. You may want to go around the group and have people take turns adding their comments to
each list. In this way everyone will contribute which will increase their investment in the process and the
outcome. Resist the temptation to rephrase their comments into your own language – use their words! If
the comment is too long to write, ask them to rephrase it.