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Ideas to Help Team Members Grow & Develop

Church Staff / Leadership / Personal Development / Volunteers //

In the previous post I talked about a forgotten aspect of building a strong volunteer team, developing people currently on the team to help them get better. Here I’ll share some ideas for helping develop people on your team, broken down into three categories.

Meeting 1-on-1

In most cases, helping people grow and develop requires meeting with them regularly to encourage, coach, challenge and equip them. Here are some things you can do to help people develop through 1-on-1 meetings.

  • Schedule a regular meeting (monthly, bi-weekly, etc) and have it on both of your calendars. Put notes in the calendar item about what was talked about last week and what to work on next.
  • Have them take some assessments to get a better idea of how they’re wired and gifted. Assessments like spiritual gifts (hereherehere),personality profile (herehereherehere), Leading from Your Strengths, Myers Briggs (here or here), StrengthsFinderRight Path, or one of the great resources out there that hits much of that in one, likeChazown or Game Plan.
  • Identify a small set of goals for them to work on and check progress at each meeting. Include goals only related to their personal development.
  • Read a book together, specific to the area they want to grow in the most.
  • Have someone shadow you on a specific event or project you’re working on, so they see everything involved with how to pull it off. Talk along the way to help coach them through it.
  • Have someone sit in on a regular decision making meeting, but only to listen and observe. Decision making is a huge part of leadership, and seeing how an existing team of experienced leaders goes about it can be very helpful to developing a team member.

Meeting in a Group

Meeting with a group of team members you hope to develop is a great way to multiply your time and help everyone benefit from the input of the group (not just you). Here are some ideas to do together:

  • Use ChazownGame Plan or a custom plan you create to walk a group of people through a 6-8 week plan for development. I created a custom plan some years ago, primarily based on Chazown, that we have used and found to be pretty helpful. It was especially helpful in identifying leadership capacity in volunteers that we did not know existed. Email me if you’d like a copy.
  • Take a group of people to a training conference. That may sound expensive, but there are plenty of options that are smaller and have events all over the country.
  • For an even cheaper alternative, buy the videos from a conference and watch each session together and discuss.
  • Listen to a leadership podcast together and talk about how to apply it personally and to your ministry. I recommend the Andy Stanley Leadership PodcastCatalyst PodcastPerry Noble, and the Harvard Business Review Ideacast.
  • Bring a group of people that serve in the same ministry together to talk through issues or challenges, opportunities for improvement, and how to address them. This is a great way to organically develop leaders as you help them learn how to identify areas for growth or improvement and how to make it happen.

List of Specific Things We’ve Done

Some of the things on this list are included in the above ideas, but most of it is pretty specific and might be even more helpful. You can see the list of specific things we’ve done in the past in an old blog post here.

These could be used with volunteers or staff, and next week I’ll write about a great new resource that can specifically help with staff development.

What have you used to help develop team members?

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About the Author

Nick serves as the Children and Student Team Leader at Community Christian Church in Baltimore, MD. He and his amazing wife Jennifer have one son named Isaac. Nick is all about serving churches to help them reach their full potential.