If you work on a ministry team, you know how challenging it can be to take a group of people from different backgrounds, different experiences with God, different expectations, different strengths and personalities and messiness and help develop them into a community that supports and loves one another while moving forward with the mission you have.
We are created for community and yet sometimes that can feel like the last thing the team is experiencing. There might be some unhealthy competition or jealousy or judgment going on amongst the group. How do you take a struggling workgroup, staff team or volunteer group to a place of health and productivity? Give them your B-E-S-T.
BELIEVE in Them. Everyone wants to be validated. Believe that God has them on your team for a reason. Believe that God has you as the leader of the team for a reason. Believe the best about each one of them. Believe that they will grow through this experience together and that they have something unique and purposeful to offer to the team. Speak your belief in them and write it in emails or encouraging notes that you send to them. This builds courage and helps build belief in one another and the mission of the team.
ENCOURAGE Them. As a team leader, it is foundational to the success of a good group to create an accepting and safe environment. People want to be accepted, listened to and respected. You can set that tone by expressing that you expect your team to be a place where people can be real, where they can learn from their mistakes, where their words are safe, where they can be prayed for, heard and encouraged. Just verbalize it. Then, do it. As we create a safe and encouraging environment through our actions, we can begin to help the team experience trust and the courage to let their voice be heard without feeling judged. This is empowering. This goes a long way in helping people learn how to serve and lead.
SHARE with Them. Share your authentic self. Share your struggles and your victories. Share your fears and your strengths. Share truth. Share how Jesus has changed your life along the way and how He continues to. Fess up when you’ve made a mistake. Tell them, “I see God working through this team” and then share what that looks like. Be interested in their lives outside of the ministry by asking them how life is going. Invite them to share their stories
TRAIN and EQUIP Them. Make Bible truth a regular part of your team meetings. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul writes about using the Scriptures for training and equipping and we need to do that. Scripture can be used as you are praying together. It can be used as encouragement if you are facing setbacks in your mission. It can be used as a focus as you open your meetings together. You can send notes to your team with a Biblical truth that applies to their unique situation. I am not referring to using platitudes or quick fixes as a bandaid, but humbly use the Word as an equipping tool in your leadership toolbox.
You have an opportunity to develop your team to be a group of healthy, equipped and productive people who move on to develop and lead their own teams along life’s way. You can leave a lasting legacy by giving them your BEST!