4 Strategies for Building and Releasing Ministry Teams

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.”

You can learn more about Turning Point Church at their websitewww.turningpointcn.com. You can also reach Joshua on Twitter @Joshua_Mauney.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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