Building Effective Ministry Teams

Most congregations who are intentionally engaging in revitalization know that the right approach is to develop ministry teams. These ministry teams have to be made of up congregational members who are spiritually growing, personally invested and have a personal stake in the churches vision becoming reality.

It is also true that most pastors have not been a member of a hi-impact ministry team. We have learned to function on committees and handle the challenges of the church board but functioning as a member of a results producing, goal achieving, spiritually guided, spiritual gifts valued and mission driven ministry team is an anomaly for most pastors.

The lack of experience does not deter the highly motivated revitalization pastor. He or she looks at the model of Jesus with the disciples and takes off changing the names of all of the churches committees to ministry team. Meanwhile the new ministry teams continue to function as committees because there is no well defined process for the members to follow to facilitate the transformation.

This article will not give the definitive process it will highlight the first step that pastors can use to begin the process. I am going to draw from secular sources and the scripture to help begin the process.

“Identify your team’s strengths
Get the team together and explore each other’s backgrounds, expertise, likes, and dislikes. Match your discoveries to the work, so tasks go to whoever is most likely to finish them well and quickly.” Says Stever Robbins in a recent Harvard Business review article, Great Leadership for Great Teams

This is often a scary thing for pastors because it also exposes their weak spots. I believe in using a spiritual gifts profile, a personality based profile and a leadership profile to accomplish the mission. There are several good spiritual gifts profiles available. Some are online and a few are free. Choose a profile that is right for your congregation and the setting in which you would like to administer the profile. For one on one coaching an online profile is most preferable to provide the best return on investment with your time. For retreat settings a paper version will work to open the retreat and then for you to teach on all during the retreat. If you are using it in a Bible Study or small group teach on the spiritual gifts first and then administer the spiritual gifts inventory.

The personality profiles are just as available as the spiritual gifts. The difference is many of the personality profiles require a qualified person to interpret them. I am a partial to the DISC personality profile. It is easy to administer and easy to interpret. There are several companies that you can Google and find the right one for your congregation.

Team Based Ministries do work. Jorge Acevedo Pastor, Grace Church, Ft. Myers, FL give a wonderful testimony about how moving his congregation to team based ministry has blessed his church. Bill Easum is the guru of team based ministry and introduced me to Wayne Cordero at New Hope Christian Fellowship who wrote the book that has molded and shaped my views on team based ministry, Doing Church as a Team.

I am firmly committed to the process of team based ministry and would like to challenge other ministry leaders and pastors to begin engaging the process.

Turning Committees into Teams

Be Adventurous !

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
West Baltimore UMC
5130 Greenwich
Baltimore, MD 21229
(410) 945-8397
West Baltimore UMC: Transforming the 40 West Corridor by Being and Making Disciples for Christ