Ministry Team Leaders
Guidelines and Insights
“Once I started getting the right people involved, everything started to click”
-- Pastor whose church uses ministry teams
The Ministry Team selection process is sort of like the old Mission Impossible show when the team leader of the Impossible Mission Force would go through his notebook and select people with the abilities needed to accomplish that particular mission, tossing the photos of the selected people onto the coffee table.
“Successful teams are those that bring together leaders driven by compatible visions”
– George Barna
Look for people who share a passion for the area of ministry carried out by the Ministry Team. You are looking for those who have a calling to do ministry in your team’s area.
Select your team members on the basis of their heart for this ministry, their spiritual gifts, their
skills, their character, their leadership style. . . and their ability to get results.
“And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to ndfaithful men, who will be able to teach others also” – 2 Timothy 2:2
Don’t pick people just like yourself. It will feel more comfortable, but it will fail to provide the array of skills
and the variety of ideas your team will need to fulfill its purpose. Instead of selecting team members on the basis of like personality, staff to your weaknesses.
Blend idea people with implementers. We tend to overvalue idea people. That leads to brainstorming groups with little follow through. Monitor your mix of dreamers and doers closely.
Look at the purpose of your team: What Spiritual Gifts will your team need to achieve its objectives?
Blend complementary skills. Some knacks, which team members have, could include:
Creators: Dream things up Relaters: Love on folks
Mobilizers: Bring folks in Motivators: Spur folks on
Organizers: Plan tasks out Managers: Keep things flowing
Discerners: See through things Servers: Help folks out
Peacemakers: Work things out Specializers: Can do things (have special skills,
Pluggers: Keep on working subject matter experts)
Promoters: Talk things up Analyzers: Figure things out
Strategizers: Think moves ahead Inspectors: Check things out
Team Leaders: Make things happen and See things through
“Every great group needs someone who can organize the genius of others.” – Stan Toler & Larry Gilbert
If you select people with a deep passion for this ministry,
you can build around their gifts and skills.
Blend These Four Leadership Styles into Your Team:
Visionary Leaders: Excel at communicating the vision, motivators, rally people around the cause, good decision makers (instinctively), don’t shrink from the tough calls, make things happen (now!). Hate details, short attention span. Are great with a group, but sometimes are not especially warm with people one on one.
Analytical Leaders: Detailed oriented, unemotionally evaluate the facts and come to a logical conclusion, detect blockages, ask the hard questions, creative, efficient, content to remain in the background. Can be too complex, over-prepare, more loyal to the vision than to people.
Relational Leaders: People persons, are the life of the party, leave everyone feeling loved, heard, and understood, love to organize people around a common cause, work their relational network, build coalitions. Hate paperwork, neglect details, and ignore anything on paper, such as action plans.
Faithful Leaders: Keep on plugging, stable, predictable, low-key, make things run smoothly, managers, sometimes invisible. Dislike conflict, will sometimes give in too easily to avoid conflict, can lean toward maintaining and improving what exists instead of showing innovation.
Why? Because there are…
Four steps in implementing a God-given vision:
1. Articulating the desired outcome. What is it that God wants to see happen? Explain
it in such a way that people share the vision.
2. Identifying the roadblocks. This will require analyzing the situation and forming a plan
to overcome them.
3. Enlisting the right workers.
4. Doing the work of the ministry.
Most every church worker will be talented in one of these four areas, but no one will be strong in all
four. People tend to do what comes naturally to them, and will avoid what doesn’t. Thus, to carry out
an effective ministry, you have to have people who are gifted for each step of the process.
“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night
in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose
twelve whom He also named apostles” Luke 6:12-13
“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach” Mark 3:14
1. Tell each person why he or she was chosen for the team.
2. Talk about needs not programs.
For example, ask a potential team member to assist in "finding ways to minister to the needs of
young parents." Don't ask them to start a specific program. This leaves room for many ministries
to spring forth from one need. It also says that we value their input and really consider them part
of the team.
3. Give the person a copy of the Team Task Directive.
Go over it with the person, explaining that it provides the basic purpose of the team, but that the
team will plan its own work within those boundaries.
4. Give them time to pray over it and the right to say no.
5. Set a date certain when you will re-contact them for an answer.
Your Role as Team Leader
1. To be a team member first, carrying your full share of the workload.
2. To be the champion of the team vision. Helping the team keep its focus on the vision,
protecting the vision from fizzling out, being ignored, or being carried out half-heartedly.
3. To be the chief servant on the team. Successfully serving your team means helping them
4. To facilitate communication among team members.
5. To keep the team on task: dreaming, planning, and measuring results.
“A team without goals and plans is a social club” (George Barna).
“Churches need dreams with details and deadlines!” (Stan Toler and Larry Gilbert)
6. To see that the ministry team produces and signs its own written Action Plan, Action Plans
clarify the unique role of the team, the special way in which God wants to use them. The
team will formulate the Action Plan together, as led by the Holy Spirit. It is a game plan for
producing results that glorify God. The plan will state what each team member is expected to
do. Team members shall then sign their action plan.
7. To build accountability into the group, with an eye toward results. You will get what you
8. To help maintain a good working relationship among members, being sensitive to impending
relational problems, serving as negotiator when there are difficulties among members.
9. To keep your team in training, informing members of resources and upcoming training events.
Our most anointed service is on the cutting edges of our own growth.
10. To provide fun experiences together. Fun mitigates the effects of the inevitable frustrations of
ministry and enhances informal communication.
TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More
; Teams cease to be teams if one person becomes dominant.
; Remember that each member has something to contribute to the team. Treat everyone on
the team equally and with respect.
; The purpose of a team is to get exceptional results. That has to happen intentionally. ; Team members must support each other and be committed to each other’s growth and
; Distribute team roles so that they do not overlap.
; Be sure everyone on the team knows the roles of the others.
; Every team member should be able to cover the team role of at least one team member. ; Try to keep all team relationships on an even keel.
; Working together is supposed to be fun.
; When someone is doing a good job, tell them.
; If trouble is brewing in any team relationship, deal with it quickly. ; People lead from the front of the pack, the middle of the pack, and the back of the pack. ; Treat external consultants like one of the team.
Planning and Evaluating as a Team
; Break down big projects into their parts and long term projects into short term projects. ; Fix goals that are measurable – or at least, where one can tell if they have been achieved. ; Formulate action plans carefully and take them seriously.
; Come up with an agenda for each meeting; distribute it in advance.
; Accountability is essential to achieving exceptional results. Have members report on their
; In the meetings, analyze cold hard facts regarding problems.
; Don’t ignore failure to avoid conflict – just be tough on problems, not on people.
; Nothing succeeds like success! Go for a quick, quality win and success will encourage
; Before counting the cost of doing it right, count the cost of failure. ; Always conduct a thorough analysis when things go wrong.
; Always publicize and celebrate successes.
; Explore all the possibilities, and then establish the action plan.
; Never let a failure in one part of the work jeopardize your over-all success. ; Delegate with permission to fail.
“Team ministry is ownership and self-initiated vision in which members carry out plans they themselves have conceived or have a part in conceptualizing.” -- Daniel Reeves
; True vision comes down from God; it is not worked up by human ingenuity or hammered out in
; Vision is the unique role of the ministry team, the special way in which God wants to use them. It
is their special niche in Christian service.
; Vision is what distinguishes one ministry team from another.
; Vision takes into consideration the spiritual resources that the Lord has provided us to use in
ministry. Members of Ministry Teams can refer, like Paul, to “The ministry which I received from
the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:24).
; Vision is why First Baptist doesn’t just merge with other local churches in our denomination – we
have a significant role to play in God’s Kingdom, which is different from that of other churches.
; Vision is not just what we do, but how we do it.
; The team vision must be in complete harmony with the Church vision.
; Vision is what team members rally around.
“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and
see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one
mind striving together for the faith of the gospel… Make my joy complete by being of the same
mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” Philippians 1:27, 2:2
; Make certain everyone is clear on the objectives and shares goals of the team. Team members
need to agree on a precise definition of what they are working toward.
; Gather facts, feelings, and opinions. Listen with your mind and heart. Listen to what is not being
; Prevent any one person from monopolizing the discussion.
One way to involve everybody would be to ask other members to serve as chairperson at the
; If a team member expresses an opinion or makes a suggestion, you must deal with it; you cannot
simply ignore it – or the team member will not bother to speak up the next time.
; Never dismiss ideas from brainstorming sessions too quickly. When someone makes a good
suggestion, be prepared to act on it. Never reject an idea without fully explaining why.
; Evaluate bad news when it is brought up; don’t make the bringer of it feel like he is raining on the
; Remember that everyone on the team will think in a different way. Good! If we all think the same
way, then some of us are not necessary.
; People need to feel comfortable to work together; insecurity is the enemy of team collaboration.
; In written documents: make them readable in simple English, so that anyone in the church could
pick up it up and understand it.
; When decisions are made, always agree on what has just been agreed upon. Write it down.
; Teams should be networks of communication. Meet informally as well as formally to discuss your
team’s progress. Constant casual conversation creates a grapevine and a culture for success.
; Teams often go through a process: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Forming refers
to members getting to know each other and to understand what is expected of them. Storming
refers to the stormy times of hammering out a action plans on which members can agree.
Norming is when the goals and processes are agreed upon. And performing is the exceptional
ministry that results.
“A team is two or more people with two things in common: a shared goal and good
communication.” – Chuck Bowman
Warning Signs that the Team is Failing
; The Team Leader is making most of the decisions and is notifying the Team of what he has
; Team members participate, but don’t get results, perhaps, just enjoying the fellowship.
; One team member is dominating the discussion in team meetings.
; Moral failure of one or more team members.
; Failure to spend time in prayer for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Leaving God out of the process. ; Conflict. Tense meetings.
; Some team members deciding matters outside of meetings and then, in the meetings, working
together to get their way with the full group.
; Confidences are broken.
; Team members are not following through with their part of the responsibility. ; Failure to provide a unified front outside the team meetings.
; Failure to train and to learn.
“Ministry teams are kept alive through formal training times and informal fellowship times”
-- Toler & Gilbert
Good Ways to Help Your Team Get Unstuck Include
; Going for a small win - Set one achievable goal and go after it. Performance itself is the
strongest galvanizing force.
; Looking for new information and approaches.
; Exit interviews with those leaving the team.
; Using facilitators and training. Outside facilitators can bring problem solving, communication,
and teamwork skills to the group, and can help it refocus on its mission. The same is true of
; Changing the team’s membership. Either add or remove members when the need arises.
; Going on a team retreat or on the road to a training event.
Task – Task is boss. Teams take getting their job done seriously Everyone on the Team is involved in planning and doing the work Accountability – Team members expect each other to carry a share of the load and measure results Ministry – Everyone on the team has a heart for the ministry Synergy – With everyone working together, weaknesses are minimized and results are multiplied