Remember gym class back in middle school? You had all the fun games – variations of baseball, dodgeball, parachutes, and those scooter things. Man, those were the days.
Remember when your class broke up into teams?
Were you ever the kid that got to pick the team?
What was your strategy? C’mon, you know you picked either the most skilled kid or the smartest kid – the one that knows everyone’s skills. How you picked a team then is probably very similar to how you would pick a team now.
And this idea of choosing your team – as leaders in ministry, we’ve got to consider it.
When I pick up my Bible and read about the early church, they were always in community. People hanging out and doing ministry together. I’m sure in those days, their community was diverse and full of people who had different skills and tried to accomplish the same goal. Sounds familiar to what we deal with today!
In ministry, we can fall under the temptation to think, “I’ve Got This! My skills can get me through this.” Me. My. I. Battle!
It happens and, if we are honest, we have all been there to some extent.
So, what does your team look like?
Take a good look at the team of people around you. Define “team” however you would like – staff, volunteers, parents, or janitors. What is everyone’s personality, their work style, gifts and talents? What drives them?
Oh dear, too many questions… I get it.
Or maybe some of you are saying… “I don’t even have a team.”
If you don’t have a team, build one!
Just like in gym class, you have your pick. You need to figure out what is your most important next move. I’m convinced we are meant to live in community. And that means we’re meant to minister with people – not just as a lone ranger. If you are trying to build a team, or needing to build out your team, here’s an idea of what to look for in your next pick.
1. Look for people who complement you.
When you know what you are really good at, don’t try to bring people in that are the same as you. This will only skew your perspective and cause you to pigeon hole yourself. Are you more administrative? Then find someone creative. Introvert? Then find an extrovert… carefully of course.
2. Look for people who challenge you.
When we are faced with a challenge, we are given an opportunity to grow! When you are surrounded by people who will challenge you personally and professionally, you will only grow as a leader. When you are growing, then your team will grow, which translates into your ministry growing.
3. Look for people you trust.
Teams are built on trust. When someone says they are going to do something, you need to be able to trust them. Any team sport requires a high level of trust. You can’t do it on your own. Ministry is no different. If you are trying to do it all by yourself, then you might need to trust some of your tasks to someone else… Where are you at with trusting others? It starts with you as the leader. Model it.
And lastly, especially as it relates to middle school ministry:
BONUS! Find a “mom” figure who will tell you when your ideas are over the line.
We can get creative and come up with the grossest, nastiest brilliant ideas. What would a mom say? This person can save you the headache of dealing with parents and apologizing for crossing a line that you shouldn’t have crossed.
So if you don’t have a team, build one. If you think you have the wrong team, what are you going to do about it?