Training Volunteers: Part 2 of 3 – Teach the Team Approach

Training Volunteers: Part 2 of 3 – Teach the Team Approach

One of the most important things we can do is to clarify our expectations as I just mentioned in my previous post part 1 of Training Volunteers. However, another thing that is vital is to teach your team of leaders  is to be a team. We had a leader’s training and I hit on the fact that we have got to stay focused as a team. When a decision is made we must look to how we can make that decision work the best for the goal we are trying to achieve. Often times our response to complaining is to continue to complain. By doing that we not only hurt our image, we also hurt the ministry we are involved with, the church we are working with, and the Kingdom of God. Complaining stirs up dissension and undermines the vision of what your trying to accomplish.

Our goal as support staff or Pastor would be to express to  ideas and visions on how to be more effective in reaching people for God’s Kingdom. If someone on staff makes a decision to do ministry a certain way that I might not agree with I have to remember we are a team and that even thought I think it would be more effective one way, my job as a team player is to understand why the other staff member feels passionate about doing something a certain way.  Once we make a decision to move forward whether I am the one who made the decision or a staff member under the authority of the one making the decision my focus should be on making that decision get implemented as effectively as possible.

An example would be, let’s suppose you are at a church that has a Sunday night church service. You are a youth pastor and really believe that it would be better and more effective to reach students if you did ministry projects on Sunday nights. After expressing this with your pastor and the staff your pastor feels like even though it is a good idea he wants everyone to be together for a service on Sunday night.

You have a couple of options. 1) You can be upset and complain to your youth leaders and students about how your pastor is handcuffing the ministry and it won’t grow until he loosens up. 2) You can Complain behind closed doors to your spouse, and those who are close to you and try to figure out a way to help your pastor see his mistake. 3) You can decide that if this is the direction the church is taking you will utilize this to impact your student ministry the most effective way it can. or 4) You can look for another job. Which one do you do?

As being a part of a team the approach is simple. You job is to implement the vision with the guidelines given to you the most effective as you can. This doesn’t mean you fight until you get your way. You see, I see that option 3 is what we need to do. However, as you do option 3 and seek to make the best of what was given to you, you can prayerfully talk with your pastor and show him what you want to see happen. Clarify your goals and the reason why you see the greatest impact for the change you were wanting to make. If you see that this is too strong of a philosophy difference then you may consider making a move in ministry. But remember, just because someone does something different doesn’t mean that it is wrong (however, sometimes it just may be wrong).

There may be a point when option 4 would be best for you and your church.  If you are seeing a pattern of frustration on your part with decisions being made, then you need to remember as a support staff, associate pastor or team leader, we are called by God to be obedient and follow the leadership that God has placed in authority over us (as long as they are not asking something that is morally against God’s word).  Your goal is not to try and get your way, your focus should be on submitting to the Senior Pastor, Elders, or whoever is making the decisions.  If this is too much, then maybe you should be looking for another place to minister, realizing it is important not to carry bitterness to your next job.

Use phrases like “WE” instead of “I” when talking about what God is doing in your ministry.  Be quick to empower other leaders and let the spotlight shine on them.  It really is ok if someone else gets credit for doing something great for the Kingdom of God!  Be OK, with being a part of what God is doing, not just wanting to have everyone notice you.  I know it can be hard but we need to make sure we are developing leaders who work as a team and we will see more things accomplished.


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Kevin Deming

Kevin has been in ministry for 20+ years working in churches of under 200 to over 2500 in attendance. He understands small churches needs as well as the needs of churches that are growing and needing a larger staff.

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