Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Developing teams in your church

Image courtesy of

Whether you are a bivocational pastor, a fully-funded pastor, or the leader of any other organization, your success will depend largely upon the people you have around you.  It does not matter how talented a person may be, he or she can only do so much alone.  To accomplish more it is imperative that we have quality people working with us who have training and passion for the task they are doing.  In his book, Developing the Leaders Around You: How to Help Others Reach Their Full Potential , leadership expert John Maxwell said these things,  "Great leaders - the truly successful ones who are in the top 1 percent - all have one thing in common.  They know that acquiring and keeping good people is a leader's most important task," and "Those closest to the leader will determine the success level of that leader."

A major mistake I made early in my ministry was that I tried to do too much alone.  My Lone Ranger approach to ministry had held back our church from achieving more than it could have.  Although I would occasionally complain that too many members of our church were not as involved as they should be, I had done nothing to equip them for ministry.  As I was preparing to preach from Ephesians 4 one week I realized that one of my primary roles as a pastor was to equip the saints to do ministry, and I had failed to do that. That failure deeply convicted me, and in the message I gave our congregation the following Sunday I admitted to them my failure and promised we would soon begin to offer some much needed training to help each member identify their spiritual gifts, their passions, and how to turn those into ministry.   I began to gather the resources we would need for that training, and within a few months we began a six month intensive training program in our church designed to equip every member for ministry.  That was our focus for every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, and every Wednesday night for six months.  It had an immediate impact on our congregation and the ministry of our church.  I can only wonder what might have happened if I had done that much earlier in my pastorate.

It is essential that you identify the leaders in your church and get them in the right teams to help you lead the church more effectively.  It is equally important that you identify persons who have the potential to be leaders and begin to invest in training them so when you need additional leaders they will be prepared.  The only way to have sufficient leaders is to make sure there are always people in the pipeline being trained to provide leadership in your church.  There are few things you can do that will be more important to the long-term success of your ministry and that of the church.

Terry Dorsett offers a great resource written especially for bivocational churches to help them develop leadership teams.  I wrote a recommendation for the back cover of the book because it's a book I wish I had written myself.  It lays out a very easy to follow plan to developing the leaders your church will need.

No comments: