How To Strengthen Weaknesses Through Team Effort

by Amy Fenton

T.E.A.M. I feel like cheering when I type that word. I love a good team and I have been so blessed to serve with some of the best.

I am terrible with details. I know I should be bothered with them, but I am not. That is why I had Janeane on my team. She lived for the details. Thank goodness! When I didn’t care about collecting data on families, she got every last name and number. When I didn’t see why a deadline was that important, she gently reminded me to get it done. She saved me from myself constantly.

I am not an actor, singer or dancer. I dare say people would probably pay me NOT to do any of these things. That is why God sent Dana, Jen, Diane and Carlee. They are some of the most creative people I know. They rocked large group for preschool and grade school. They sent scripts, practiced dance moves, gathered props and costumes, did something with ProPresenter. (I still don’t know what to do with that program.) They were rock stars!

I am not great at remembering people’s names. That is why I teamed up with Brenda as a volunteer coordinator. She was a former reporter who loved to ask everyone all the details of their life, take notes on said details and keep records of everyone. As we strolled the halls on Sundays mornings she would say: “That’s Bob. He just moved here from Ohio. He has two dogs, works at the gas company and is going on vacation in three weeks. But, I’ve already got him covered.” WHAT!? She was like the superhero of remembering. She was always two steps ahead of everyone. Every class she was in charge of had a text group for parents that she had saved in her phone and a text group of subs. Really, who does that? Not me.

I am not great at keeping the resources organized. That is why Leann was there! She loved a good label maker and color-coded system. She could organize a workroom like a boss. She could put a finger on a pipe cleaner or googly eyes before you could count to three.

I could go on and on talking about Wally, Kimba, Kellie, Betsy, Josh, Cole, Jay, Blake and the other 300 people that I was so blessed to serve with . . . because I learned something very important in my younger years of ministry. Are you ready for this bit of wisdom?

I. Can’t. Do. It. All.

And guess what? Neither can you. Nor should you. If you do, you are taking away someone’s opportunity to step up and use their God-given gifts to serve the body. You are robbing them of the opportunity to live out their faith. You are stealing away the joy of serving. I believe that God gave every church what it needs to be a body. I believe it because my Bible says so. But so often in ministry we forget that. When you begin to believe that the title, “children’s director” means “I Have To Do Everything,” then it is time to take a step back and reevaluate.

When you see needs in your ministry, do you view them as opportunities to grow your team? Or do you see those needs as one more thing you have to take on and do yourself?

When someone expresses interest in serving with your ministry, do you take the time to interview them and find out what their gifts and strengths are? Do you give them multiple opportunities to serve using those gifts? Your list of ways to plug into your kids ministry needs to be much more in-depth than: A. Serve in a classroom with kids. B. Serve in a classroom with preschoolers.

Do you help people see how they fit into the big picture and give them ownership of their piece? Or do you micromanage them? Or worse, just not use them at all?

Do you recognize your own weaknesses and are you able to acknowledge that someone could possibly do parts of your job better?

Here is your challenge for the week:

Write out your dreams. What would your ministry look like if you had unlimited volunteers with unlimited gifts, talents and skills? (I used sticky notes on a white board. Each sticky was a volunteer position I needed or wanted.) Then pray over that dream. Ask God to honor your efforts and help you as you start to cast vision for what your ministry could and should be. Next, start to look for people in your church that have gifts that are needed and make big, bold asks of them. You will be surprised how many will step up. Sometimes people just need to be asked.

You need to do what only you can do. You need to allow others to do what only they can do. Together you can start to form a great team!

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