Depending on the size of your church, your technology budget, and the core vision of your church, ministries can function in very different ways.
Before you can build a team you need to know why the team exists. My team’s purpose is to spend time together growing in relationship and serving all those who call our church home. On the tech team we have the distinct privilege of serving not only the body, but the musicians, the teachers, and each other—literally everyone within our Sunday morning community. We do our best to remove distractions and create an environment where our church can more easily focus on God. We do this to show God how much we love him. That is it. My team will always hear that at the core of everything I say.
So, how do you build a highly skilled team with that?
It’s actually fairly easy once you boil it down to 2 basic characteristics.
1. The Ability to Learn
I do not discriminate based on skill level. Everyone on my team is regularly employed in a myriad of professions, few of which translate to how they serve. From primary school teachers to logistics, to students in high school, they are all welcome. When someone comes along who feels called to serve with us I start by telling them they need the ability to learn. Let’s face it, although these systems are complex by nature the vast majority of volunteers on a Sunday are not going to need a degree in sound engineering or theatre to serve. What they will need, though, is the ability to learn. This is more about attitude than aptitude. That’s not to say there aren’t people who just cannot be taught a skill, but in my experience that is usually a lack of heart instead of a mental deficiency.
Whenever I have a new team member I explain this concept and they either buy in, or find other ways to serve. The easiest way to explain it is in the book of Acts, chapter 2, the church shares everything they have communally out of love. When you read through this, you have to take note that no one asked them to do this. There was no pastoral staff urging them to do this and there were no team leaders there to spur this on. They took the responsibility upon themselves. This is different from a responsibility placed upon you, this is a responsibility you pick up. It’s the difference between the responsibility given to you by a boss to complete a project, as opposed to the responsibility you feel to ensure your wife’s car is safe for the road, or your husband’s clothes are clean. You do it because you decided it was important, that it had value, and because of love.
When you have volunteers who get this idea, it also changes the way you deal with the team. It pulls you out of micromanagement and into shepherding, which is where everyone should be anyway.
Regardless of a person’s background or aptitude, if you build a team full of people who have these two things you will have a stellar Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean that your Sundays will be professional grade productions every Sunday. You will end up with an environment that works a lot more like a teaching hospital than a specialist office. If that scares you or it goes against your better judgment, then I’d suggest you re-evaluate why you’re where you are.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the core purpose of my ministry?
- Do those I lead know me?
- Do I disciple those I am charged with leading?
- Am I seeking hearts or lemmings?