Developing a Team
Someone once asked me why I was forming a team when we decided to reconstruct and rebrand 10:31 Ministries as 10:31 Life Ministries. The general idea was that I could probably do it all by myself. Indeed at that point I had already talked to Angel about becoming a full time writer for the organization, we already had plans in place to launch A Chosen Generation in January. The problem of course was that I couldn’t do it all by myself, especially with the amount of growth that I had no idea was coming.
So as David was asking me questions about the ministry, what direction and form I wanted it to take it became clear that I needed people to help me, I had a vision, I had a plan for seeing that vision take off but I didn’t have the people around me to do it. So in February of last year we began forming the leadership team, then it was me and David, we soon asked Angel to step up and recently added Alexandria Broeker when David stepped down. Now we have a team.
But what is the purpose of developing a team? In Titus 1:5 Paul tells the young pastor Titus of the church on the Island of Crete; “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—“ (ESV). He then goes on to give a list of qualifications for those elders, the point was the put things in order on Crete. It’s certainly been the case that since Angel, David and Alexandria have come on board things have been put in order. Just this weekend we began the process of organizing our expectations for the writing team.
While Angel and Alexandria are not elders they are part of a team. At the church I worked at in Albany the leadership team did have elders on it who helped make decisions for the church. The purpose at ABC was to make sure the church functioned, the purpose on the Island of Crete was the same, to establish order and to carry out the mission of the church.
In forming a team then the question became what should I look for in team members? Often the temptation, or what we think would be easier would be to find people who thought the same way as I did. That, however probably would have made leadership team meetings boring. Instead what I decided was to pick the people God sent my way. I prayed for awhile and David and Angel just made sense, when David stepped down he recommended Alexandria and after some prayer we offered her the position.
But now that they are here how do I develop them? We start by giving them a mission, to train others to bring glory to Christ, to be healthy leaders who work to build up the church by using their gifts to the best of their abilities. After giving them their mission I needed to empower them to do the work that they were brought in to do.
C. Gene Wilkes says; “Good servant leaders empower those on their team to reach their shared goal.” That means encouraging them to use their gifts and abilities, and giving them the ability to do that. With Angel that meant encouraging and helping her to write using good exegesis. It also meant encouraging her and helping her figure out the multi-media part of 10:31 Life Ministries.
Finally there is the sense that we lead with a purpose. Wilkes says that one man should not do the entire work of the ministry. That was what we desired to do away with, one many trying to do all the work. It meant that I was constantly getting burned out on by everything. Not anymore, now I have those who can help me care with our ever growing team of writers.
So why do we lead by team? Because it gives us a group of people who are going in the same direction with different skills empowerment to move towards a common goal, to develop in community what we try to do as individuals. “To put into order” what God has given us. As we lead by team there’s one more reward, seeing God work in the lives of the other team members as we draw closer as a family of God.
Wilkes, C Gene, – Jesus on Leadership: Timeless Wisdom on Servant Leadership, 1998, Lifeway Press, Tyndale House, California