Are you struggling to get things done? Are you the one who is usually completing the projects of your church and overseeing every ministry? Does it seem like there is never enough time to get all that you need done, even though you are not doing nearly what your vision would require? Are you feeling used up and exhausted?
You are not alone! Many Pastors and ministry leaders feel this same way. One of the reasons is because we are not very good at utilizing the talents and strengths of others. Here are 10 ways you can begin utilizing the people in your ministry to create a more resourceful and accomplished ministry team.
- Cast a vision – The next time you get up to announce a new ministry in your church or the direction you feel the church should be taking, cast a vision. Share with your ministry team the end result. You don’t have to tell them all of what it is going to take to get there, just tell them the end result. “I believe our church can be running 200 by next Easter!” Now there will be many facets of ministry that are going to be needed to cause your congregation to run 200 by Easter, but for now all you want to do is give the leadership team a goal. “200 by Easter!”
- Ask for help – Acknowledging you need help is liberating for the leader! it is also a grand opportunity for the team to feel like they are coming alongside their pastor. Asking for help is not becoming vulnerable, it is being honest. It is also being responsible. God gave you your ministry team for a reason. That reason is so that you can utilize their talents, knowledge and energy to accomplish the work of ministry God has envisioned you with. “Would you consider working together and with me to cause our church to be running 200 by Easter?”
- Allow the Genius of the group to be found – The smartest person in the room is not you. Nor is it any one other person in the group. The Genius in the room is always the sum of all of those who are on your ministry team. If allowed to be heard, there are people on your team who have ideas and experiences that can advance your vision much better than you can by yourself. “What are some things that we could do to cause our church to be running 200 by Easter?”
- Delegate others to complete parts – No single person has the time, energy or talent to make great ministry happen alone. Breaking the work down into parts and then asking others to complete that part makes the work much easier to accomplish. It also gives others an opportunity to be a part of something grand. If your church has never ran more than 150, it is going to be a very big deal on Easter when it is running 200. For those who got to be a part of making that happen, there is going to be a huge reward! When you delegate parts to create a win, it causes others to feel like they are needed and appreciated. This in turn will cause your team to want to do something greater the next time your vision is cast.
- Allow for mistakes and guide the process – People are going to make mistakes. It’s ok! When you find that your ministry team is going in the wrong direction, stop them and guide them back on track. Without micromanaging them or taking ownership of the process back, ask them some questions and allow them to answer them in order to get them back on track and in the direction they need to be going. By the way, just because it’s not the way you would do it, does not mean it is being done wrong. Let them find their way…
- Ask questions – This is fun. People are so used to someone telling them what to do in church that they will be amazed when you ask them for their input or advice. They will stand around after the meeting and tell you that they have never been asked for their input before. It will be quite liberating and will enable them to feel appreciated and needed. If you will lead a meeting by only asking questions (Instead of doing all the talking.) you will enable your ministry team to show you their genius. This means that you are going to have to be willing to let them do 95% of the talking.
- Stop speaking – If you are talking, no one else is. The whole reason to have a ministry team is to allow a greater genius to happen. If you truly want your team members to take ownership of a vision and exercise their gifts and talents, you are going to have to let them be heard. For most pastors only talking 50% of the time in a meeting would be a huge challenge much less 5%. By not speaking you are allowing the greater genius of the group to be found. Once people no longer feel threatened to share their thoughts and ideas, they will begin to share their true giftedness for the vision that you have.
- Don’t give all the answers (even if you know them) – This is extremely hard for most people. Holding back an answer to allow another person to find it and share it with the group empowers that person. What good does it do you to have all the answers all of the time. By letting someone else come up with an answer you create a win for them and a reason to belong to your ministry team.
- Give others ownership (for good or bad) – When people feel ownership of something they will work harder to make it happen. They will also invest more of their personal resources to see it through. When you let them know that you trust them with it, you empower them to succeed. The reward for them after the win is enormous and they will be willing to take on the next project more readily. Let them run with the ball!
- Create debate – Make a circle of chairs with everyone facing inward. Ask a question… “What would we need to do to cause this church to be running 200 this Easter?” Let them answer the question. Let them give their ideas. Then cause the group to share their thoughts on each of the ideas offered. This will cause some level of debate, this is good. Allowing the team to share their concerns and past experiences will begin the steering of the ministry you are launching.
A ministry team is an amazing resource for any pastor or ministry leader. It is not only a Think Tank, but it is also a tremendous supply of labor, passion and energy to make ministry happen. The reason so many church seldom surpass their attendance and financial goals is because pastors and ministry leaders try to do everything themselves.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Notice that he gave the leaders of the church so that they would perfect the saints to do the work of ministry. If you are trying to do all the work of ministry by yourself, your church will only grow as big as your time, giftedness and energy will allow.