When I first started out in ministry, I had a bad case of Young Man Syndrome. This strange affliction caused me to think I knew everything and needed no one. Thankfully, several years in the University of Hard Knocks cured me of my delusion and brought me to the conclusion that for success in ministry, you need a thriving team. The first step to building a thriving leadership team is choosing thriving leaders.
Once you have your team, you can begin building your ministry expression. Here are several essential building blocks to get your team moving in the same direction.
1. Mandate: What is the God-ordained outcome you are moving toward?
Leadership is the art of people movement. We move people developmentally on a personal and organizational level. Moving people forward is challenging. Without a clear mandate from the Lord, it’s like herding cats and turtles. One of the primary responsibilities of a leader is to maintain focus. Continually restate your mandate using Scripture, testimony, prophecy and practical illustration.
2. Motivation: How do you inspire service and sacrifice toward the goal?
Once you’ve defined the destination, the next step is to inspire movement by providing motive. I see two primary motivators used in the modern church. The first is DUTY and the second is DELIGHT. Consider Paul’s teaching on giving “not by compulsion but willingly because God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Aim to impart a “delight-directed” mandate.
3. Mobilization: How do you move people individually and organizationally?
Now that you’ve communicated the vision and imparted delight to move your members forward, there must be a call to action. This call begins with a clear commitment to the mandate and to you as the custodian of the vision. Each team member needs to commit to a significant area of service and leadership in the organization, and the sphere and scope of service need to be consistent within the team as a whole. If members are unable to commit at this level, it would be best to have them serve on a secondary team rather than on your core team.
4. Momentum: How do you build and maintain velocity of movement?
Give each member of your team a clear area of responsibility. This will help them sink their teeth into actual leadership where they have the authority to lead and are accountable to you. Give specific goals to provide milestones of movement. Once these goals are being met on a consistent basis, there comes a growing sense of achievement. Someone once said momentum is a product of many little successes. This series of achievements will start to build a velocity of personal and organizational development.
5. Multiplication: How do you reproduce movement in every aspect of leadership?
Multiplication is the icing on the cake. It’s the final step that fixes the growth of your team members, while at the same time imparting values to the rest of your organization. All members need to recruit assistants and begin to pour into those people, reproducing themselves in the next generation. They need to build a team within their areas of oversight and impart the mandate, motivation, mobilization and momentum to carry the next generation of leaders forward.
Those are the strategies I’ve learned after nearly forty years of practice. By stacking these building blocks one on top of the other, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving leadership team. Where do you need to focus the most effort right now?