Ah, Spring! Time to fire up the barbecue and get ready to grill. I’m wondering if this is the time of year when we need to do the same thing with our ministry teams.
Teams, like small groups, go through natural life cycles. The honeymoon may be over if you’re starting to see more “fizzle” than “sizzle.” It may be time to reorganize and re-energize to build a stronger team.
These four tips may help…
1. Celebrate. Someone once said, “The healthiest people are the ones who know when to say ‘yes,’ when to say ‘no,’ and when to say, ‘whoopee’!” Celebrate your recent successes and accomplished goals. Have a party. Energize your people by letting them know how God accomplished great things through their service. In a spirit of celebration and thanksgiving, ask team members to recommit to the vision to move forward.
2. Closure. For those on the team who feel they need to move on—let them. It’s hard to see faithful workers go but the alternative is they continue with guilt or obligation. Give them your words of affirmation, perhaps a gift of appreciation, and wish them well.
3. Covenant. For those who want to remain with the team—now’s the time to covenant. A covenant is an agreement that your team will make to determine its mission and purpose. Who will do what? What goals do we want to accomplish and how will we make them happen? Include a time line of future accomplishments so team members understand the long term impact of their service. Add new people to replace those who decide it’s time to step down.
4. Community. With a newly committed team, and covenant in hand, begin the process of doing life together! Pray, play, plan, and share! Invest in your team personally as the people God has called, rather than as worker bees to get a job done. Build into your meetings ‘warm-up’ exercises to encourage personal sharing. Schedule some of your sessions in homes, or at a local Starbucks. Allow the group to minister to each other as they serve the greater purpose of the ministry.
Turn team “fizzle” into an opportunity for growth, reorganization, and renewed energy to take your ministry to the next level!