We’ve talked a little about personal & corporate development in our last couple of posts (see here and here). Today I want to share a few thoughts about developing your team. It’s ridiculous to think this topic could be covered in a blog post, but here is an outline of how I’ve approached team development as I’ve led kids ministry. Each individual component offers an area that I believe is critical, but could be studied in much, much more depth.
And, as you know if you’ve read this blog for long, lists, alliteration & acronyms help me remember things – hold on the comments about my age! – so here’s my acronym for D-E-V-E-L-O-Ping your team:
D evelop yourself first.
“You cannot pass on to others what you do not possess yourself.”
- You should have an intentional, daily plan for personal growth – what you pass on to others will flow from this.
E nlist the right people.
You will have a head start to developing a great team if you find people with:
- Character – Godly in actions, attitude & heart.
- Competence – able to do the job they are being asked to do.
- Chemistry – finding people that love each other & want the TEAM to succeed are more valuable than superstars.
- Commitment – willing to buy into the vision and give their all for it’s accomplishment.
V ision-cast continually
Sometimes we act like communicating vision one time should be enough with our core leaders. It’s not. Vision needs to become part of our language and drip from everything we do & say. Always.
“If your vision is for one year, plant wheat. If your vision is for a decade, plant trees. If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.” Ancient Chinese Proverb
“Vision focuses on what does not yet exist, but should.” George Barna
E ncourage them
Your leaders need pats on the back because ministry is not only hard for you, it’s hard for them (in fact, NOT being the key leader is often harder because you are following someone else’s vision). Take a moment to read these verses:
- I Thessalonians 5:11
- Hebrews 10:24-25
L ift them up in prayer
My favorite quote – let this sink in a little:
“Prayer does not EQUIP us for greater works…prayer IS the greater work.” Oswald Chambers
Now meditate on these passages:
- John 17 – Jesus’ example of how to pray as a leader
- James 5:16
O ffer growth & leadership opportunities to them
This is where most people start, missing the foundation of everything we’ve already mentioned! There’s so much more to “developing” your team than just “training” them. But here’s the process I use for this step:
- Evaluate – where is this team member (individually) at in his/her leadership development process. Start them from there (and everyone will be different, which is one of the challenges of developing your team, and why it takes so much effort).
- Equip – create a plan to help them grow in their required skills (specific to their role) and in their overall leadership abilities.
- Empower – give them leadership responsibilities. Start by doing it with them, then watch while they do it themselves, then give them complete authority (while you retain responsibility).
P ursue deeper relationships with core leaders (the top 20%)
Yep, your going to play favorites. As you begin to develop leaders, some are going to rise to the top. The more you grow, the more you are going to focus on those that are becoming better leaders. That doesn’t mean that you ignore the others, but remember, you are trying to do more & more of what only you can do, give away responsibilities to rising leaders, and equip them to develop other leaders.