I was taught in school that the sign of a healthy ministry was that if you left, things could carry on for three years. Most days in ministry we are hard pressed to plug all of the holes we have and are scrambling to find someone who can fog a mirror in an attempt to keep our ministries running.
This isn’t just a pipe dream. The key to ensuring that this could happen is in team building. Building a successful team doesn’t happen on accident, it’s intentional.
As a leader of leaders, a good deal of our time must be spent in pouring into and developing others. Ministry can be a pretty lonely place. Why not do it with others who can support, dream together, and encourage one another?
Begin building your team like Jesus did. Identify a small band of leaders and then ask those leaders to invest in mentoring others for leadership.
Identify Your Team:
If you were to identify your top ministry positions, what would they be? Pre-Teen Ministry, Pre-K and Nursery Directors, VBS Directors, Mid-Week Ministry Leader, Sunday Morning Worship Directors are some positions you may want to begin with.
Do not include all teachers, etc. Keep this team relatively small on purpose.
Once you’ve identified the top positions, begin to intentionally develop these people as leaders. Meet with them regularly. Play with them, do life with them. As you meet with each person, ask them to pray about someone who could serve alongside them and who, one day, could replace them. This serves a few purposes:
1) It will put people on your team that you never considered before. After all, we all run in different circles and have influence over different people. This will improve the overall support of your ministry within the church.
2) It will make your recruiting so much easier. Have a sick teacher? No problem. This person already knows the ins and outs and you may not even receive a call on Saturday night!
3) This will create a sense of ownership for the ministry that you’ve not
otherwise been able to establish.
4) The new team will feed off the energy and enthusiasm of one another. They will dream and plan together. When people do ministry together, the excitement is contagious. They will begin to dream and will, in turn, tell others about their vision.
(which will then lead to more recruits!)
Challenge each of your team members to a new level of accountability. Ask them for the following:
1) That they would have their team built and into place within six weeks. Most people can think of at least one person that they could partner with in a ministry venture.
2) To list 3 short term (3 months) and 3 long term (6 month) goals. Help them to clearly define each goal. Remember that goals must be measurable. Each goal should be easily and clearly articulated. Check in with team leaders regularly to see how they’re coming. Do they need you to resource them in order to accomplish one of these goals? What else could you do to support them? It’s your job to help them win.
Mark these dates on your calendar and be prepared to celebrate the victories and wins. Praise their accomplishments publicly. Everyone likes to know they’ve done a job well. This sort of public praise demonstrates to others that you are not just
status quo in your ministry. Your ministry is constantly seeking to better the way you do things. Everyone wants to be a part of a winning ministry. Celebrate big and often. Recall these victories together during Christmas celebration dinners or
whenever your entire team is assembled.
Ministry as a team is both beneficial for the long and short term. It will enable your ministry to continue beyond you and it will enable your team to celebrate victories as you impact families for the cause of Christ.
What practical steps to you take to ensure that your ministry will outlast your tenure?