No one can do ministry alone—at least not for long and not with any real enduring effectiveness. Wise church leaders know that you have to build a team. In today’s church, burnout and exhaustion leave many pastors staggering and struggling to keep pace with the expectations and demands that confront them. The need for more workers always tops the list of a pastor’s greatest challenges.
The solution? You really need a team.
But how do you build a quality team? Over the next few weeks, that question will be the focus of a series of blogs. Here, we will look at effective ways to build your team, and identify the traps to avoid. We’ll focus on the practical “how-to” steps rather than simply insist that a team is a good idea.
But we must start with the “why.” You see, the “why” of your effort to get others involved in ministry will likely determine your level of success in doing so. If you want to build a team for the best reasons, you’ll be more effective in doing so, but if you look to add workers to your roster for lesser reasons, you’ll get lesser results.
What’s the best reason for building a team? There are several.
- The Best Mission
Amazingly, God allows folks like us to participate in the eternal. We get to spend our limited energies serving the mission of an unlimited God. Could here be any greater thrill than that? When we invite people to share in the work of Christ’s mission, we are including them in an extraordinary purpose and opening the door to the most satisfying version of life they will ever find.
If you’re just looking for workers to get you through another Sunday, no wonder people aren’t lining up to be involved. But when they see that joining your team is a chance to find the life they’ve dreamed of…well, the response changes significantly.
So ask yourself what you believe about serving Christ. Let the potential of such opportunity fill your heart and it will change how you approach prospective team members.
- The Best Connection
Jesus invited His future disciples to more than a job. He opened the opportunity to connect to Him. That’s why their invitation was “Come, follow Me.” When you build your team, you are asking people to come be with you, to be mentored and grown because of an elevated relationship.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” In those days, a yoke was used for oxen as they labored in the field. The yoke He spoke of was designed to harness two oxen, a strong one and a weak one. The weaker of the two was present to learn what it meant to work in the field through “on-the-job” training from the stronger ox. Most of the weight was carried by the strong one until the development process was complete. What a vivid picture of the mentoring process.
This is the relationship you offer to those who work with you. Yes, we are certainly working with Jesus too, but joining the team is more than doing a bunch of church work. Such efforts will grow us toward God’s plan for our lives too.
Team leaders spend time with their team. In fact, they spend more time with their team than they do with others. If being on your team means a deeper commitment between you and me, my interest will grow.
- The Best Opportunity
When I understand that being on your team will help me make a difference in the lives of others and bring genuine impact to the world around me, how can I not be excited about that? When you realize that you’re opening the door to such a life, you’ll never apologize for “asking someone to help.”
Serving Christ by serving others is the very best life possible. Too many pastors seem almost apologetic in asking people to join their team. Making a real difference is the deep desire of every individual.
When you understand what it can really mean to be on your team, your approach to people begins to change. No longer are workers something we need to find. Instead, we are offering a life-changing journey for those who truly want all God has for their lives. When you see life on your team as the fulfillment of real purpose, people will begin to see it too.