Ministry teams are the church’s heart and soul, and a powerful ministry team can help foster a healthy church. While some ministry teams create a sense of chemistry and fellowship, others can be frustrating and unwelcoming to serve on. What’s the difference? It comes down to the ministry leader and team cultivating a team spirit.
Several years ago, we almost had a mutiny in one of the ministries of our church. The tech team had had enough. They were tired, frustrated, and demoralized. They felt devalued, unappreciated, and unheard—all of their feedback fell on deaf ears.
How did we get here?
The Tech Team consisted of 20-25 volunteers. They all reported to the full-time worship leader, who had a bit of technical background and liked to tinker. He was a restless creative that was easily bored and enjoyed mixing things up.
One Saturday night, this worship leader came in late and took it upon himself to rearrange the lighting and band positions; and didn’t tell anyone.
The tech team arrived early on Sunday morning, ready to serve in their roles and facilitate the worship flow they practiced on Thursday night. You can imagine the initial shock turned to frustration as the morning unfolded into a technical nightmare due to all the changes the worship leader had made.
The team was in crisis mode, and the service was about to start. Instead of explaining things, the worship leader seemed to think it was easier to “do it myself” since there wasn’t time to explain things to the volunteer.
The Tech Teams’ frustration level reached a boiling point, nearly staging a walkout. In fact, many of the volunteers did walk out and never came back.
It took years and a leadership change to work through all the issues. Today, our Tech Team is one of the healthiest ministry teams I’ve ever seen.
I often ask myself, what makes this team get up earlier than anyone else on a Sunday? Work longer than any other ministry team? And under the most stressful and demanding environment where thousands of people view even the slightest mistake?
How did the new Global Tech Pastor turn a disgruntled mob into a unified team?
4F – okay, not the military definition, but four powerful keys that I see being played out in this team, and, honestly, it works for every team.
Here are the 4 Secrets to a Powerful Ministry Team
The Global Tech Pastor works hard to build an environment of care. He’s not running a team of easily replaceable minions. He’s shepherding individuals who bring to the team more than just a role to fill, but ideas, creativity, input, and gifts. Every person is loved and listened to.
Yup, I said it. Food is one of the most powerful human connectors. It changes a boring meeting into a warm gathering. In our small groups, food is basically a requirement.
The Tech Team doesn’t just swing by Krispy Kreme donuts; they regularly bring homemade casseroles and dishes every week! A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the outside door propped open. I discovered that one of the tech team volunteers and his wife were grilling sausages, eggs, and pancakes!
Never underestimate the power of food to build fellowship.
Gathering your team outside the ministry for fun and fellowship is so valuable.
At least once a year, the Global Tech Pastor opens his home and invites the now nearly 60 tech volunteers and their families for a crab feast and outdoor activities: volleyball, cornhole, horseshoes, spoons, and probably a dozen other games. We live on the Eastern shore, so all that’s needed to gather a fun group is CRABS.
It’s not easy to truly get to know people and their families if you only spend time with them in the context of Sunday morning ministry. Building a great team is not just a matter of training and coordinating. To create a great team, you must build great relationships, and relationships require an investment of your time and attention.
I love that our Global Tech Pastor involves his whole family in the ministry. It’s not just his ministry, it’s their ministry, and while they’re building a great team, they’re also building a great family.
One of the most crucial aspects of a healthy team is when everyone clearly understands their role and purpose. Missional alignment, more than anything else, determines the health and strength of the team.
The Global Tech Pastor keeps the team entirely focused on the main thing.
The main thing is not:
- Great shots
- Kickin’ audio
- Cool graphics, and
- Powerful videos.
It’s not about the tech, toys, and tools. It’s all about changed lives.
The Tech Team’s mission statement is:
Tech Arts exists to build a community of believers who use technology to enhance the worship experience and help create a high-quality, distraction-free environment that supports the mission and vision of Oak Ridge.
The Global Tech Pastor regularly shares stories of changed lives with his team. He might just be spotted wiping a tear away whenever someone follows Christ in believer’s baptism.
Painted up on the wall of the production room is this reminder:
Wherever you find a “4F team” that relates like a family, breaks bread together like a community, enjoys hanging out together like neighbors, and is sold out to the mission like a platoon, that’s where you’ll see a powerful tribe!