Doing Ministry in Teams!

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry

I am still pretty inexperienced when it comes to leading in ministry.  I may have a Master’s degree from seminary, but that doesn’t mean that I have experience, just head knowledge!  But one of the big lessons in leadership in the church I have learned over the past year is the concept of doing ministry in teams.  I am convinced that raising up teams and leaders is one of the most important things I can give my time too.

Here are a few key lessons I have learned in putting together teams:

  • If I don’t raise up teams and other leaders then I will be the one that keeps my ministry from growing because I will become the hang up for getting things done.
  • My effectiveness is increased by bringing in more people to accomplish the work.  I can get more done in a ministry with others involved than I ever would by myself.
  • I must delegate responsibilities not tasks.  When I delegate responsibilities those on the team take ownership over their area.  They take the responsibility and as long as it is a good match for their wiring they will thrive.  Only giving out tasks keeps me to hands on.  This leads to burn out on a volunteers side, frustrations for both parties, and it keeps people relying on me instead of learning to make the call themselves.
  • Be up front with someone about the ministry responsibilities and expectations before they join your team.
  • Debrief with the new team member after they serve or have served a few times.  Find out how things are going.  What do they need from you?  Is the position still a fit?  Is there anything that has come up they were not expecting?  By asking these questions you can make sure the position is a fit for the person, which is beneficial for both parties because if the position is a mis-match it will lead to frustrations on both sides.
  • Hold people accountable to a high level of excellence, even if they are a volunteer.  In order to do this you must inspect what your team is doing.  There is a saying, “People don’t do what you expect, but what you inspect!”  Even with volunteers you can call them to a higher standard by inspection and clear communication of expectations.
  • Work with people to help find the best place for them to serve, which may mean creating a somewhat tailored position.  Everyone has different gifts, passions, and availability.  You may find someone can fill a spot you hadn’t even thought of having someone do, but it allows you let them take that area to the next level.  Be creative in your volunteer placement when necessary!
  • One of the most important things is: If I do everything myself I am robbing others of knowing the joy of using their gifts and leadership skills for Jesus.  Bill Hybels writes in Volunteer Revolution (Great Book!) that people serve at companies and corporations all week with no fulfillment, but serving at the church is where they find the maximum fulfillment because they are able to use their gifts for God to impact others.  Don’t rob people of this opportunity!
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