Leadership series.

Building Strong Bonds:

Unveiling the 5 Pillars of Trust in a Team Environment

Questions: -

Would you get on a minibus when you see the driver has thick glasses and sits close to the windscreen?

In a football team and your striker loses the ball 9 times out of 10, would you pass him the ball?

Trust is the cornerstone of any team's success. It builds an environment where individuals feel safe, valued, and confident to contribute to the team's objectives. Trust, often synonymous with integrity and credibility, is a multifaceted concept. It is not merely a factor of faith but a product of consistent and reliable actions which have auspicious results.

In a team setting, trust can be viewed through five primary pillars:






Having trust in a team environment provides a resilient foundation for exceptional performance. It paves the way for a free flow of ideas, boosting creativity and innovation. Trust also ensures that team members feel comfortable enough to share their perspectives and contribute their skills, thereby enhancing the overall functionality of the team.

In this message, we will dive deep into these five pillars of trust, exploring what they mean, how they impact team dynamics, and how teams can develop and maintain these integral components of trust.


Genesis 3:7 -10 

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so, they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid."

Adam and eve were naked in the Garden of Eden, nothing was hidden. They were clothed in the glory of God. But after the sin they hid behind the trees, they began the first cover up.

As they were convicted of their sin, they felt the need to cover up their sin.

The glory departed (Ichabod) and shame came, and they were embarrassed by their nakedness. After they left the garden, they continued the cover up as they began to wear clothes.


We must live our life with the Lord with nothing hidden from him and be willing to share anything about our life if He asks us to testify about who we were and how He has changed us.

Open communication 

is ground zero in building trust. It lays the foundation on which the other pillars stand. Through open communication, team members can express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns freely, promoting transparency.

Transparency, in turn, breeds trust as it assures individuals that there's nothing hidden from them. This sense of assurance is vital in fostering a feeling of belonging and security in a team environment.

The art of open communication goes beyond sharing information. It involves,

Active listening

where team members understand and acknowledge each other's input. This respect for others' opinions not only helps in building trust but also nurtures a culture of inclusivity.

Additionally, promoting open communication within a team requires active effort. It can be encouraged through regular team meetings, providing platforms for discussion, and ensuring that every voice is heard

Encouraging feedback 

and understanding that every opinion matters goes a long way in building trust.

Prayer – Lord God, remove any shame from me that has caused me to hide away from your destiny for me and to cover up the sin in my life. Forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, in Jesus' name.


Isaiah 11:2 The spirit of the fear of the Lord, which brings respect, reverence for the things of the Lord.

His presence.

His ministers.

His word.

His buildings.

Respect, as a fundamental pillar of trust, involves treating everyone with dignity and consideration. It means acknowledging the contributions and viewpoints of every team member, no matter how different they might be.

Proverbs 9:10 KJB
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

When our attitude towards the Lord is right, our attitude towards others will be right!

 Fostering a Positive Team Dynamic.

Respectful behaviour contributes significantly to a positive team dynamic. It fosters an environment where individuals feel valued and appreciated, which in turn promotes trust.

Cultivating a Culture of Respect

Cultivating a culture of respect in a team involves setting clear behaviour expectations, leading by example, and promptly addressing instances of disrespect.

It is not a one-time effort but a continuous process that requires active participation from every team member.

Prayer – Lord, take away from me any dishonour and disrespect towards you and give me a right attitude towards others, in Jesus' name.


Empathy in a team environment is about understanding and recognizing the feelings of team members. It involves stepping into another person's shoes and seeing things from their perspective.

Genesis 33:14 KJB
Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.

Empathy is not just about understanding others' feelings, but also about acknowledging and validating them.

Building understanding in a team environment can be done by:

- Encouraging open and honest conversations about feelings and emotions.

- Taking the time to listen and understand others' perspectives.

- Being sensitive to the unique experiences and backgrounds of team members.

When team members feel understood and validated, it builds a bond of mutual respect and trust, thus enhancing the team's cohesiveness and performance.

Prayer – Lord, open my eyes to the hearts of those around me, that I may recognise what they are going through and how they are feeling, so I can walk with them softly.


A pillar must be stable, for others to trust it and put their confidence in it. This also means emotionally mature, not a novice, someone that can stand the pressure.

They can take the weight of responsibility upon their shoulders.

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.


is another fundamental pillar of trust in a team environment. Team members need to be dependable, acting as a consistent force that others can rely on.

This track record of consistency helps build faith in their abilities and contributions to the team's goals.

The impact of dependability on trust cannot be understated. When team members consistently meet their commitments, it builds a sense of security and trust within the team. This trust is essential for facilitating seamless teamwork and collaboration.

A few strategies for improving stability within a team include:

  • setting clear expectations
  • providing necessary resources, and 
  • regularly monitoring progress.

It's also crucial to be open to feedback and make necessary adjustments as needed, further demonstrating your commitment to reliability.

Prayer – Lord, I ask that you keep me in perfect peace as my mind is stayed upon you, because I trust you.


1 Samuel 17:38 – 40 38 So Saul clothed David with his armour, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armour and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, "I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them." So, David took them off.

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

Tried and tested, David did not wear Saul's armour because he had not tried and tested it.


is about owning up to one's actions and decisions. In a team setting, it means being responsible for the tasks assigned and being answerable to the team for the outcomes.

Accountability and trust go hand in hand.

When team members are accountable, others can rely on them to fulfil their commitments, thus building trust.

This trust, built on being tried and tested, promotes a sense of dependability in the team. It assures members that everyone is playing their part and contributing towards the team's goals. Moreover, it fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members, thereby enhancing team performance.

Accountability can be fostered within a team in several ways:

  • Setting clear roles and responsibilities
  • providing regular feedback, and 
  • recognizing individuals for their contributions

These are some methods to promote accountability.

Implementing the 5 Pillars of Trust.

1 Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

A stone becomes smooth when it has been in the river for a long time, being bumped up against other stones and bit by bit the rough edges are smoothed away. This takes place when there is friction between people in the Church, but they forgive each other and learn from the experience.

Incorporating these five pillars into team dynamics is not a one-time task. It requires:

  • ongoing effort, 
  • patience, and 
  • commitment 

from every team member. 

The journey may be challenging, but the rewards in terms of a trusting and high-performing team are immense.

Overcoming the challenges in implementing the pillars of trust involves:

  • open communication, 
  • patience, and 
  • persistence. 

It requires a clear understanding of the pillars and a commitment from each team member to nurture these qualities.

A trusting team is more than a group of individuals working together. It's a cohesive unit that functions seamlessly towards a common goal.

The benefits of such a team are manifold: increased productivity, enhanced creativity, improved conflict resolution, and an overall positive work environment.

Prayer – Lord, cause me to recognise when your hand is shaping me, when you are smoothing me and cause me to be quick to forgive and slow to anger, in Jesus' name.

Maintaining Trust in a Team Environment.

Maintaining trust in a team environment is vital. It's not enough to build trust; it needs to be nurtured and protected continuously. This ongoing effort, though challenging, has inspiring payoffs in terms of team performance and satisfaction.

Strategies for maintaining trust in a team involve:

  • regular communication
  • recognition for efforts, and 
  • providing support during tough times. 

It's also crucial to identify and promptly address any issues that could potentially erode trust.

Warning signs of a breakdown in trust include:

  • poor communication, 
  • lack of accountability, and 
  • constant conflict

Recognizing these signs early and taking corrective steps can help in preserving the trust within the team.


Trust, built on the pillars of:

  • Transparency, 
  • Respect, 
  • Understanding, 
  • Stability and 
  • Tested

is crucial in a team environment. 

The five smooth stones in the bag. Have your rough edges been smoothed away?

It not only improves team cohesion and performance but also creates a positive and productive work environment.

The impact of trust on team success is profound, reinforcing the importance of consciously nurturing these five pillars within a team. The journey towards building a trust-filled team may be challenging, but the results

  • a resilient, 
  • dependable, 
  • relatable, and 
  • high-performing team

— are worth every effort.

Remember, trust is not a destination, but a journey.

Thus, let's embark on this journey together, building, and nurturing trust in our teams, one step at a time.

Prayer – Lord, You, have promised to never leave me nor forsake me, on this journey I ask Psalm 119:105 KJV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Written by Pastor Graeme Foster APC Fenton, UK.