In the second part of this series examining the seven key findings from Good to Great by Jim Collins we focus on our ministry teams. Great teams are made of great people. Shocking statement, I know. But let’s put that idea under the microscope of how most kids ministry teams are staffed.
See if this sounds familiar: You have an opening—let’s say in the nursery—so you get the word out and find someone to join your team to fill that spot. Problem solved! And ministry continues on.
That’s how it happens most often because we tend to live under the tyranny of the urgent, but is that the best way to staff our teams? Not according to Collins. The great companies he studied focussed on people, not need. The most successful companies added great people to their teams and then figured out how they fit best, or as Collins put it—you get the right people on the bus and then figure out their seats.
That makes sense, doesn’t it? When you come across someone who would be great on your team, you need to invite him or her to be part of your team right away whether there is a current need or not. And then you can figure out how to best use that person.
How then do you find great people for your team? Look for great team members who:
- Are gospel-centered. Look for people who truly love Jesus and who are striving to live with the gospel at the center of all they do.
- Share your ministry’s vision. Great people moving in different directions don’t make great teams. They make great messes! Look for people who share and who can champion your ministry’s vision.
- Have character. We are all sinners in need of grace so don’t look for people who are perfect, but instead look for people who live with character—people who recognize and confess their sin and who are becoming more like Jesus.
- Love kids. Again, this should go without saying, but don’t rush past it. If you find a perfect team member who doesn’t truly love kids, you found a great team member … for some other team. Get them connected with some other ministry team and trust God to provide your team members.
- Are balanced. While great team members need to love kids, they shouldn’t just love kids. You want people who are in balance—at home, church, work, and play.
- Are learners. Great team members know there is a lot they don’t know. Look for people who enjoy learning and who are teachable.
- Are flexible. You know that flexibility is key, especially in kids ministry. Go after people who are flexible and forgiving.
Brian Dembowczyk is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Brian, his wife, Tara, and their three children live in Murfreesboro, TN.