A Team Approach to Teaching, Part 2
Who should be on your team?
Teamwork is essential to effective ministry. Influential pastors and ministers surround themselves with talented people who work together for a common goal, fulfilling the vision of the church. One area that often gets overlooked but is ripe for teamwork is the weekly teaching.
A teaching team is a group of people working together behind the scenes to make sure the gospel is presented in a compelling way each week. In Part 1 of this series, we talked about why you should have a teaching team. This week, we’ll talk about the different team members you should have. Who should be on your teaching team? What talents, gifts and attitudes should you look for?
Here are some characteristics of people who are right for your teaching team.
Look for the Right Talent
When you’re looking for teaching team members, ask what they bring to the table. Find people with the right skillset to complement you and the rest of the team. That list can include scholars, creatives and pastors.
Find people who are regularly immersed in biblical studies, who are theologically sound, and who are gifted teachers in their own right. Pair them up with the creatives on your staff or in your church, and you’ve got a great pool of resources for reaching the lost.
But don’t overlook those who have a pastor’s heart and are always looking for ways to apply the truth of Scripture daily.
It’s easy to spot the skillsets that are more in line with traditional ministry. But there are other talents that you may not automatically think of. Do you have any public speakers or communications experts in your church? Maybe you have a local newscaster or a radio DJ who regularly attends. Ask them to join the team to help hone your skills.
Or how about someone with marketing experience? They can help with making each sermon series compelling to attract unbelievers.
Whatever gifts these people bring to the table, make sure they bring them! Getting people on the team is not just about helping you; it’s also about helping them. When people engage their primary skillset for Kingdom vision, they grow spiritually in ways they never knew possible. Service is not just about completing a task, but about building disciples.
When we utilize members in their God-given gifts, we not only make the whole team better and work toward fulfilling the mission of the church, but we create opportunities for them to grow as well.
Look for the Right Fit
How people work together is vital to the quality of work they do. Find individuals who are good team players and are ready to get to work together. Prioritize teamwork over talent, and you’ll find a group of people who fit well together.
Find people who are committed to teamwork. The “silo mentality” will quickly kill chemistry. When ministry leaders think their one area of service is more important than any other, they will corrode the function of any team they are on.
Prioritize teamwork over talent, and you’ll find a group of people who fit well together.
I’ve seen many staff members fail at their jobs simply because they refused to help out in other areas when needed. Make sure your team members know how the collaborative effort of this team will help every part of the church.
Find people who are passionate about the vision of your church. Can they repeat the mission statement from memory? Have they bought into why your church exists, and are they excited about where it’s going? Are they actively cheerleading the work each week?
Your teaching team can be a great way to make sure that your vision is constantly communicated clearly to your church.
Find people who are willing to give the right answer, not just what they think you want to hear. There are times when it’s nice to have people around you who readily agree with your decisions. But it’s just as important to have team members who aren’t afraid to call you out, say “no” when appropriate, and get the team back on track.
Make it a point to let the whole team know they shouldn’t be afraid to speak their minds honestly.
You should also make sure the major areas of ministry are covered in most meetings. That means you bring in the worship director so he or she knows the theme of the message and can help develop the flow of service. Bring in your “next gen” and children’s pastors, or your women’s and men’s ministry leaders when needed, to make sure all ages are covered each week.
Look for the Right Heart
At the end of the day, this is about preaching the Word of God. You’re looking for men and women who love Jesus, who have a heart for evangelism, who have studied the Bible, and who have prioritized ministry. They may not be in full-time ministry, but they should at least be key volunteers in your church.
When you meet together as a team, the most important thing on the agenda is moving people closer to God. That means placing a high priority on salvation, baptism and discipleship. The people on your team need to know those priorities. And selecting members with the right hearts will make that possible.
Finally, don’t neglect the importance of prayer when selecting your team. And continue to pray for them regularly as you meet and work together. In Luke 6:12-16, Jesus chose 12 disciples from all his followers for a special mission. But before making that all-important decision, He spent the entire night in prayer.
When we pray about who’s on our team and pray for our team regularly, we will find a group of men and women committed to making each message the best it can be. And week after week, a great message will draw people into a closer relationship with God.