What do you use to encourage your team? Do you tell the speaker that they just preached a great sermon after that early Sunday morning? Do you tell your favorite worship leader that their voice sounds angelic every time they steps on platform? How about the chairs team? Do you thank them for all their hard work and faithfulness to the church, and the ministry that God is using them for? Absolutely. Those are all examples of ways that we do …and should encourage the people on our teams! But should it stop there? Should we constantly, and only focus on the gifts, talents, and abilities of the people we serve with? Or is there more than that?
The church world is a place that can be so difficult to navigate sometimes – especially for those that lead a team. As leaders, it is our responsibility to oversee any number of volunteers, meet goals, keep track of KPI’s, come up with new ideas, inform your oversight of the team’s progress, etc, etc. Sometimes its easy to just get lost in all of the things going on… especially when Jack doesn’t get that run sheet to you on….
“Jack!, Jack! …. Where’s that runsheet I asked for?!”
“Service starts in 10 minutes!! Jamie needs to get those last minute verses programmed for Pastor John’s sermon, Julie needs to start the countdown video soon, and Jerome needs his wireless pack’s battery changed, so he can lead worship!!”
Does any of that sound familiar? (and yes, I know that all those names started with ‘J’… What can I say? It was a jovial morning, filled with much jubilation after my third cup of java…. Don’t judge me).
Here is my point. In the somewhat cheesy example above, not one of those people was recognized as a human. It was “Jack, the production director”, or “John, the Pastor”, or “Julie the Media Coordinator”. So often the people on our teams become recognized by what they can do, rather than by who they are. Brandon, becomes the guy that can play guitar like nobody’s business, instead of the husband that is working incredibly hard to provide for his family. Jose becomes the production director, instead of the new father that hasn’t gotten sleep in a week. The list goes on and on!
As church leaders and team leaders, we absolutely have a responsibility to make sure that we accomplish the objectives before us. But we also have a calling to support, build, and love the people on our teams. You see, we aren’t just called to be Jesus to the people that are outside the four walls of the church…but we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those serving alongside us as well. Now, by no means am I saying that we should throw out the task at hand! No Way!! But the task should really be secondary to the task doer. A close second, maybe. But people always come first.
So. Here is my challenge. See and treat people for who they are, not just what they can do. Find out about your team. Learn their story, what makes them tick, what annoys them, what their favorite color is, weather or not they like to make absurdly long lists (yes I know, I lead that club…). Let your team know that you care about THEM…. not just their skill set. Nothing will build a healthy team faster, than investing in the person, not just the skill.
Written by: Josh Wright
Josh is a Consulting Director for Froot Group, a worship staffing company.