Much of your effectiveness as a leader will be directly related to your ability to build a team of people who are passionately committed to the ministry you lead. Team building is leadership the way God designed it (Mark 1:16-17. Eph.4:11-16). The “team building” process includes four important tasks:
1. Gather – recruit people to your team. As a leader, you must be a “people person” who is friendly, outgoing and always on the look out for new people and new leaders, so they can be gathered in and harnessed. Learn to relate to a wide variety of people and be inclusive in your relationships. Then build relationships with your people. Spend time with them and share experiences. Be around your people, love them, laugh with them, cry with them, work with them, and eat with them. We can't simply cheer people on and give them our best wishes. We have to make room for them in our lives.
Remember that the community aspect of your team is just as important as the productivity aspect. Jesus called his disciples to be “with him”. Teams that enjoy being together tend to be more effective. Make people feel needed, worthwhile, valuable and important. Use ample amounts of encouragement and express appreciation regularly. Take an interest in people’s personal lives, not just in what they can do for you or the ministry. Enjoy the journey together.
2. Motivate – inspire and influence people with vision and purpose. Seek to motivate (not manipulate) people for mutual advantage. Create an atmosphere conducive to motivation by creating a sense of expectancy, through being enthusiastic and optimistic, through meeting people’s need for a sense of belonging, as well as for opportunities for growth and recognition, through ample doses of appreciation (say “thank you” often) and encouragement, and through making ministry enjoyable.
All ministry is hard work and discouragement and apathy can easily set in. Your job as a leader is to ensure that each person on your team keeps motivated for the ministry. Your attitude, and especially your enthusiasm (Jn.2:17. Rom.12:11), is highly contagious. As a leader, you need to be the chief cheerleader of your ministry. Qualities such as passion, confidence and courage are extremely valuable and need to be guarded carefully as they are a prime target of the enemy (Gal.6:9-10).
3. Train – coach people to effectiveness. Make sure people know exactly what they are supposed to do and why, who they’re responsible to and then give them good training, direction and supervision, as well as the resources they need. Give them opportunity to ask questions, share how they are going and give you feedback. Then you give them honest feedback showing them areas they can grow in and how they can go about it.
Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. Give people time, opportunity and training to help them become the very best they can at what they do. Provide them with a variety of training opportunities – personal coaching, group training sessions, resources (books and or audio messages), mentors and appropriate seminars.
4. Mobilise – empower people through delegating ministry. Take time to get to know people, their desires and their spiritual gifts. Then seek to place them in an area of ministry that matches their strengths. The art of delegation is one of the most powerful tools leaders have. It increases their individual productivity as well as the productivity of their ministry. Leaders who can't or won't delegate create a bottleneck to growth and development. The other benefit of delegation is that it increases the initiative of the people within the church because it gives them a chance to grow and succeed.
Delegation is "the process of identifying your work responsibilities and assigning portions of your work to others, so that the workers become fulfilled and the work is accomplished". When we delegate, we have a job that needs to get done and people who need caring for and development. Our primary motivation in delegation is not just getting rid of work we don't want to do - it is developing people!
Leaders who fail to delegate do so because of insecurity, lack of faith in others, lack of ability to train others, personal enjoyment of the task, inability to find someone to do it, laziness, lack of time, reluctance caused by past failure or an "I do it best” mind-set.
Leadership development is the key issue for the ongoing health and growth of any ministry. Build a dream team – let other people carry the ball and star. It’s about winning the game not who gets the credit. Insecurity in leaders is a deadly disease. It results in the failure to raise up others, especially talented and strong people. There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you aren’t concerned with who gets the glory.
How do you respond when (1) others are applauded OR (2) others are more talented or experienced than you? Small people hold others down while BIG people make room for everyone.
Putting Legs on It:
* Keep an updated list of all the leaders and volunteers you are responsible for in appropriate groups. Make sure that each person receives plenty of encouragement and lots of good feedback. Include plenty of informality and fun along the way.
* Ask yourself: “What training is needed to this person to a new level of effectiveness?” “Where are assistants needed and how can I fill these gaps?” “Who has the greatest potential for development or future promotion?” “Whose morale is sagging?”
* Resolve relational issues quickly (within 24 hrs, if possible) and thoroughly. Untie those knots of anger and frustration. Nothing is more important.