Grow Your Ministry Team Through These 6 Areas

Posted by Aaron Buer on January 4, 2023

Do you know what will make your church stronger? A team that is well-trained and prepared. Maybe that’s your staff team or maybe that’s your volunteer team. Ideally, it’s both.  

Whether you lead a church or a ministry within a church, here are a few key ways to strengthen and grow your core leaders.

 

1. Culture

How people actually behave together is one of the most important aspects of your church. This is called culture. 

How do you create a healthy and productive team culture? I recently listened to two podcasts from Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast that I thought were very helpful and practical.

They record a conversation between Andy Stanley and Patrick Lencioni. If you’re interested in improving your culture through training your staff, listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of “Creating a Healthy Organizational Culture.”

 

2. Hospitality

What people experience when they interact with your church is critically important. I’m talking about the worship service experience. I’m talking about the parking lot. I’m talking about when people call in and what they experience on your website. 

It’s all hospitality and it’s all critically important to your church. Training your staff on hospitality is one of the best things you can focus on.  

Horst Schulze is a hospitality wizard. If you’re interested in learning more on how to develop hospitality in your team, I recommend this talk on Creating World Class Service from the Global Leadership Summit. It’s a few years old, but the content is fantastic.  

 

3. Communication

One of the ways that team relationships can deteriorate quickly is through poor communication. Poor communication can also lead to trouble as your staff and volunteers communicate with your congregation. This is a critical area to invest in and train on with your team.  

One resource that has been helpful here is a book called Crucial Conversations. The book is geared toward high stakes conversations, but the principles are helpful in just about any conversation.   

  

4.Crisis

This isn’t very fun to talk about, but how would your staff and volunteer team respond in a crisis? I know there are a lot of other things you’d rather do with your time, but crisis training is very important.  

One suggestion here is to contact your local law enforcement agency and see what kind of training they offer.    

 

5. Cultural Topics

Here’s a dreaded question: “What does our church believe about ______?”  Usually when this is asked, it means that you have some work to do in addressing pressing cultural topics.

When it comes to nuanced conversations like the ones around LGBTQ topics, race, and abortion, it is wise to provide specific trainings for key volunteers and staff.

Sure, some of these trainings can be awkward, emotionally charged, and sometimes laced with disagreement, but in the absence of clear communication, people will say whatever they feel is best…which may not be best at all!  

Also, I have found that our volunteers really appreciate it when we prepare them for difficult conversations, rather than respond after they have already happened.  

 

6. Time and Energy Management

I wish I could have a redo on my first five years in ministry. I just didn’t have good time management skills and I didn’t know a thing about energy management. I’ve come to realize that this is true for most of us when we first enter ministry.

Because of this, one of the best ways that you can train your team is to teach them to prioritize and manage their time and energy wisely.  One of my favorite books on this topic is called Deep Work by Cal Newport.  

I believe that training people how to manage and prioritize their time is both a huge gift to them and also to your church. Learning how to operate off a block schedule sounds like prison, but feels like freedom.  

 

Wrap Up

Perhaps having six new training focuses feels a bit overwhelming. Could I suggest starting with just one? Choose what feels most critical for your church in this season and pursue it. Good luck!

Topics: Advice

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