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A Better Way to Build A Team

This is my third and final post on the shape and content of our church’s staff meetings. In this post, I provide an outline for one of our Tuesday afternoon one-hour strategy sessions.

This particular session was with our 2 Children’s Directors, JoAnn and Ellie, and our Youth Director, Tammy. They had asked for a strategy session on fresh approaches to recruitment. The Pastor overseeing Youth and Children’s Ministries, Shane, collaborated with me to bring the following.

Fresh Ideas for Recruitment

1. Introduction (Mark)

a. The Sword in the Stone. The perennial difficulties with recruitment, especially in family ministries, are like Sword in the Stone problems: the sword yields, not to the one with the greatest power, but to the one with the right touch.

2. A Fresh Look at Recruitment (Mark)

a. Question: “If you could recruit 6 volunteers or 42, with the only difference being that it took more time and effort to recruit the 6, which would you choose? This is not a trick question.”

b. Read John 1:29-50. Watch in this passage the mounting curiosity about Jesus and the rising commitment to follow him. Among other things, this is a case study in grassroots recruitment: one person tells another, who checks it out and then tells another, and so on.

c. Linear versus geometric recruitment. Linear recruitment is one person (the Director) talking to one person about joining the ministry. Geometric recruitment is one person talking to a few people about joining the ministry, who then talk to a few people, who then talk to a few more. It multiplies rapidly. Done well, soon the problem is having too many volunteers, not too few.

d. Vision and Pragmatics. The Director needs a clear and compelling vision for the ministry and a clear picture of what kind of person is best suited for it. The Director must establish clear guidelines for screening and equipping those who step forward.

3. A Fresh Look at Volunteers (Shane)

a. A new name. We need to come up with a different title for people who help in ministry. “Volunteer” doesn’t capture how vital and needed such people are: the ministry literally depends on them. “Fellow Worker” or “Co-Laborer” is closer to the mark

b. A new strategy. We need to empower people in ministry, not just give them jobs to do. They are not just filling holes: they are stewards and ambassadors of God’s mission.

4. Exercise: A Fresh Plan (Team)

a. The 3 Directors and 2 Pastors then spent the remaining 30 minutes coming up with a plan. This included the following:

– Committing to working on clarifying the vision of each ministry.

– Committing to working on a “profile” of the kind of person who thrives in this ministry.

– Committing to coming up with a new title for those who join this ministry.

– Committing to a strategy to empower each member of this ministry to recruit at least 2 more people.

– Committing to heightened collaboration on all these things.

– Inviting me to the next ministry team meetings to help cast the vision (that week, I spoke to the Children’s team).

5. Prayer

I’m interested in what you’ve discovered about recruiting. I’d love to hear from you.

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