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City Changers: Lesson 2


Flying Solo, or Building a Team

This could also be called the myth of the heroic leader.  The myth is that everything depends on the leader.  All great leaders build teams because what they are attempting to accomplish cannot be done alone. 

Great Leaders Build Teams

  1. Teams are Biblical. All through Scripture we find great leaders building teams. Jesus taught us about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus built multiple teams to promote His Kingdom.  There was the twelve and the seventy.  The apostle Paul built different ministry teams.  We never find Paul working alone.  In each of his letters, Paul either begins his letter by mentioning his team or he closes his letter talking about them.
  2. Working with teams is difficult. This is one of the main reasons more leaders do no build strong teams. It’s always easier for one person to make the decisions and everyone else to follow, but teams are much stronger in the long run than the solitary leader.  When we work alone we are limited to the gifts and resources of one person.  When we build a team we multiply our gifts and resources.  It is the test of time which reveals the weakness of building ministry around one person.  If a ministry has been built around one person then the work suffers greatly when that person is removed from leadership.  The greatly gifted person can do amazing things, but when it’s over it’s over and the entire work collapses.
  3. Empower paid and unpaid staff. We’ll never unlock the secrets of multiplication until we learn how to empower others. The majority of workers must come from within the church.  When we give people a responsibility we should also give them the authority to accomplish it.  Begin training unpaid staff and if they do well with responsibility we should reward them. Reward them not only with affirmation but also with greater opportunities of service.  They must learn to think like a team.  Life is more about winning the game than it is taking the winning shot. Each staff member must help choose and train new staff members.  Each team player should be responsible to reproduce themselves by training others.
  4. Build church boards into accountable leadership teams. Most churches have some type of church board. We’ve all heard horror stories of churches which were controlled by church boards, but we can never do great things alone.  Turn the church board into a leadership group and make it accountable to provide an example of leadership.  Then they’ll not have time to control the church or manage the pastor.  Think of them as small groups accountable to the pastor.  They should meet on a regular basis with a specific purpose.  There should be stability and maturity in the group.  They should act as unpaid staff rather than permission with-holders.
  5. Give lay pastors the authority they need to minister. Every believer has the capacity to become a lay pastor and help care for others. Lay pastors are discovered by virtue of their demonstrated willingness to serve.  Look for people who have a servant’s heart rather than someone who wants to display his gift.

What makes building teams so difficult to accomplish?

Excuse #1 – “I am the only one qualified to minister.”  The fact is many times there are people in our congregation who are more qualified in certain areas than we are.

Excuse #2 – “We need to keep the quality of ministry high.”  If we intend to multiply it becomes very hard to keep the ministry quality high when we rely on one or two people to do the work. 

Excuse #3 – “Some people attend church just to hear me preach.”  Do we want to build the ministry of the church around one person?  Diversity of ministry helps to defeat boredom.  One of the worst mistakes a leader can make is to become boring.

Excuse #4 – “Our radio or TV ministry demands high quality.”  We should focus ministry on those who are worshipping in person.  Allow radio and TV to become overflow ministries from the local church reaching out to our communities.

Excuse #5 – “I must be the one speaking the vision each week.” Leaders must be able to impart their vision to their leadership teams.  Their vision must become the vision of the house.  The vision of the house becomes our spiritual DNA.  We have not done a good job communicating the vision until everyone can see it.

There is a Power in Teams which no Individual Can Harness!


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