Everyone likes to win. Whether it is your kids basketball team or the football team you cheer for, we all prefer to win. Should it be any different in the church? We are in a battle against darkness and we know in the end that the victory has already been won by the Lord. However, while we are on this earth we are in a battle to win people for Christ, to save marriages and to develop passionate followers of Jesus.
You know that who a coach chooses to be his starting line up is critical. I have already written articles on the importance of choosing your inner circle carefully. (To see these articles type in “inner circle” on the blog search.) If you are a leader in ministry please take seriously who your starting line up is. If you have the wrong people on your team it could be the #1 reason you are not seeing the results you desire for the glory of God. John Maxwell said “One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned is that the people closest to me determine my level of success or failure.
There will always be people who will grumble you are showing favoritism because they were not “chosen” for a particular ministry or role. It is a fact that we cannot please people and please God at the same time. Please the Lord and the results will follow. Every Christian has been given a spiritual gift. Always remember pleasing God is #1. Our job is to help people find their sweet spot.
Ministry leadership teams must be chosen. Jesus chose his team. He didn’t call for a vote of who his ministry team would be. It was not a popularity contest. He made personal decisions after prayer. 5 principles Jesus modeled in choosing a winning team:
1. Selection – He handpicked them. Jesus prayed ALL NIGHT. (Luke 6:12) If we model our ministry after the ministry of Jesus we will NOT choose a ministry team by giving an invite from the pulpit or in the church bulletin. Prayer is #1.
2. Motivation – He selected the ones he personally wanted. There was chemistry. When there is chemistry you can motivate more powerfully. If you don’t have chemistry with a person it will be very difficult to motivate them. Without this chemistry you will lack influence in their lives.
3. Connection – He chose them to BE with him, he connected with them. You will not connect with everyone and this is also needed for a team to be successful. People need to be on a ministry team where they connect with the leader.
4. Teachable – Jesus released them after giving them specific assignments and then he gave them feedback. This is mentoring. It will be a problem if you have someone on your team who is not teachable to you. If they are not teachable to you they would be more successful on a different ministry team with someone they are teachable with. Again this is helping them find their best seat on the bus. It’s okay that not everyone is teachable to you.
5. Commission – AFTER a person has been selected and trained they are empowered and given authority to do the job. Putting a person out to early will hinder the team from winning. Jesus mentored his team for 3 years before leaving them. (Matthew 28) After over 25 years of ministry I have learned one of the worst mistakes a leader can make is to recruit a person and put him out too soon. This is not setting a person up for success.
What has been your positive and negative experience with ministry teams? Would appreciate your feedback!