By Bob D’Ambrosio
Are the ministry teams at your church still charged with the energy they had when they first came on board? Are they still pumped to “change the world”?
Ministry 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 re-energize the team you lead with these four actions:
- Celebration. A friend once told me, “The healthiest people are the ones who know when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say whoopee!” Celebrate your recent success and goals that have been accomplished. Have a party. Share God-sightings. 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.
- 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 to serve out of guilt or obligation. Give them your words of affirmation, perhaps a gift of appreciation, and wish them well.
- 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 timeline 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.
- Community. With a newly committed team and a 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. Plan meeting time to encourage community and relational experiences. 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. For a deeper understanding on how to refresh your ministry teams (and your leadership style), check out Group U’s online course, The Power of Relational Ministry Leadership.