My obsession…

I am completely obsessed with the new Star Trek Movie. I have seen this movie over 25 times and watch it about once a month. I know, my wife thinks I'm a little weird too. But I think J.J. Abrams did an awesome job bringing the effects, drama, and music together for a fresh look for the Star Trek saga. But what tops all of the thrilling graphics is the story-line. I love how the writers dug into the lives of Jim and Spock and what it took to bring them together. Throughout the movie, the themes of courage, risk taking, and working through diversity comes out.

But with my love of this great movie, I am even more obsessed with creating dynamic teams to lead ministries. The best way to create a stable growing ministry is to have a strong team to build it. It takes a lot of hard work and energy to put together an outstanding team. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Two starting ingredients

1. Courageous Leadership. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. (Next Generation Leader) It can get messy building a dynamic team and the more competent the leaders are on the team, the messier it gets. Encourage diverse ideas and different ways of doing ministry.

2. Peacemaking Leadership. There are peacekeepers and peacemakers. A typical peacekeeper often attempts to keep peace at all cost. Ironically, this brand of peace is primarily a false peace. Interestingly, one of the primary definitions of shalom is health. Therefore, unhealthy peacekeeping is an oxymoron. (Beth Moore) Most people are great at peaceKEEPING instead of peaceMAKING. Peacekeeping people will sacrifice whatever it takes, even truth; in order to "keep the peace". But peacemakers will face the truth even if it hurts. Sometimes, peacemakers are forced to hurt people with truth to set them free with truth. Where peacemakers want to bring peace by solving problems, peacekeepers are often tempted to avoid conflict in the hope that it will solve the problem... and it never does! Unresolved conflict is like a cancer in a body, and cancer can never be left alone.

Are you taking CARE your team?

“Everyone in your ministry wants the assurance that you are going to take care of them.”You have to be good at taking care of your teams in order to build strong teams.

Communication. Be clear and direct when communicating with your team. Continuously express your vision, desires, wants, and dreams to your team. When you get to the point where you have said your vision so many times, in many different ways that it is making you sick; then you are only half way there! There is no such thing as over communicating when it comes to your leaders, but direct, frank, communication always is the best way to grow a strong team. What are some ways you can communicate better to your team?

Accountability. Reinforce the standard of quality by observing and correcting your team members. Most good team members want to do a good job but may need some help getting there. What are the ways you can boost accountability to your team?

Rewards. Show your appreciation for the hard work of the team with positive rewards. Be creative in expressing your approval through recognition, gifts, and favors. Sometimes the best gift you can give is a, "thank you!" and a handshake. Most high capacity volunteers won't flock to places of recognition, but they are more likely to stay at a place where their hard work is being recognized. What are some ways you can show appreciation to your team?

Evaluate. Provide constructive feedback on the performance of your team members. Most people want feedback on their performance. Look for opportunities to train your team through meetings, performance reviews, and on the spot training. Yes, I would even give your top level volunteers some type of performance review, how else are they going to know what you expect of them. How could you increase evaluation to your leadership team?

There are so many things that can go wrong when you are trying to build a team in ministry. Everyone has their own ideas, their own past experiences, and their own way of doing things. Don't give up, building the right team that fits the ministry is possible.