In our last blog, we took a look at the first of two things a pastor can do to begin moving his church toward health–grow yourself. In Part 2, consider step two for the pastor.
To build a healthy church, every pastor needs a strong team. And to have one, the pastor needs to start building that team now! A strong leadership team gives the church and the pastor the people resources to begin expanding healthy ministry. Also, a strong team provides the support and encouragement a pastor needs to be able to do his part effectively.
Perhaps the two most common ways pastors resist this idea are these: First, the pastor says, “I already have a good team.” First, that’s good to hear! But there’s a difference between having a good team and building a strong one. Are you growing your team? Do you have a plan for increasing their capacity through discipleship and leadership training. Are the members of your team growing because they are on your team?
Taking this step starts with planning learning time into every team meeting. If your team is a pastoral staff or group of deacons, spend the first 30 minutes of every staff or deacon meeting in learning mode. One way to do this is to read a book together. Give each team member a copy of an important book and spend those thirty minutes discussing a chapter each month. Or perhaps you can watch a video series together. Don’t preach another message at them, but be sure to engage them in learning through discussion.
As we said last time, if you’re growing, everything around you can grow too. The same is true for the members of your team. Because they are connected to you, they should be growing in ways that affect their entire lives. Invest in them and your influence as a leader in their lives will grow. And as you do, their capacity will increase.
The second point of resistance comes from the pastor who says, “I don’t have anyone to work with.” Then start small. Choose two or three individuals that support you and start growing them. Meet over a book for coffee or lunch. Start growing someone as you grow yourself. If you don’t have a team, don’t wait any longer to start building one. This effort will impact your church’s health more than any program you can establish or sermon series you’ll preach.
A few years ago, I met a pastor who is building a team of teenagers. These are the people he has to work with so he’s not letting their age keep him from growing their leadership capacity. No matter where you are, you can start somewhere. Find a few to invest in. That’s what Jesus did, and through sacrifice and much effort, He built a team that became world-changers.
The pastor has two steps only he can take in establishing a healthy church–growing himself and building a strong team. In our next blog, we’ll look at two steps that only the people of the congregation can take.