Joshua Mauney, founding pastor of Turning Point Church in Lexington, Kentucky, has some simple but effective ideas about ministry teams.
Turning Point Church is a fantastic church whose mission is to be known for the restoration of the family. When you step through its doors, Turning Point should feel like a breath of fresh air in your lungs compared with the rest of the week.
- Teams don’t matter if you don’t have leaders. // As John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” A team can’t get very far if you don’t have a great leader to guide them in the right direction. In order to find great leaders and build great teams, the people at Turning Point Church looked at the greatest leader of all time—Jesus. How did He build His team and lead them? The number one thing Jesus did was pray.
- Pray so you can see and then select. // Jesus didn’t ask, “Who wants to be in my twelve?” He prayed and He chose the members of His team. The hardest worker in the room isn’t always the best choice for the team or for the leader. “In our church we say it this way: We celebrate hard work, but we don’t elevate it,” Joshua says. Instead, elevate gatherers and team builders. Watch for the person who always has people standing around him or her because this person is already leading and gathering people to them.
- Do they fit your culture? // When selecting leaders for your groups, make sure that they reflect your church’s culture. Turning Point Church is an energetic, fun church and so their leaders need to reflect and fit within that culture too. While someone with a more subdued personality may make a great worker within a team or group, they may not be the right kind of leader for that group. Find people who embrace the culture and personality of your church and be a picture of that to the outside world.
- Know that they’re not a finished work. // Ephesians 4 says that the job of pastors and teachers is to equip the people for the work of God’s ministry. Just because someone has been appointed to a leadership position within your church doesn’t mean that they’re a finished product and are ready to do it on their own. “I see a lot of pastors who put people in position and then spend most of their leadership life upset that people aren’t getting it,” Joshua says. The job of the pastors is to teach the leaders to lead. Write down what the standard is in your church and make it clear so that you can always point back to it. “When you have a written standard, you can always point back to the standard,” Joshua says. “When you don’t, all you can point back to is an opinion.”