Whether you are the only pastor on staff or are leading a staff of multiple pastors and leaders, you have a team. Your team may be a council, a committee, the staff, or an informal group of committed church members. Regardless of who makes up your team, they are essential to the growth of your church. But, often the “team” meets to discuss and accomplish everything but the important aspects of ministry.
This year our team shifted from mostly administrative meetings to ministry-minded meetings. My goal was lead us to grow spiritually together in a way that was reproducible in the lives of our members. If the leaders of the church meet to pray, read scripture, talk about the Word, and encourage each other, this has to have an impact on the overall church. Instead of talking calendar, budget, and events we memorized Scripture together. (The reward has been great for each person involved. Our aim is to memorize the book of James, and we are still working on it together.)
The flow of our meeting is as follows:
- Prayer- I begin with a list of know needs in the congregation and add personal matters to the list as they are mentioned by our team. Each person has been assigned specific requests to pray for in the agenda of the meeting. During the prayer time, each member of the group prays for his designated needs and whatever else is on his mind & heart.
- Scripture Memory- Each member quotes out loud the verses she has learned in the last week. As the amount of the book memorized grows, there are days where each member quotes as much as possible from the beginning of the book.
- Sermon Discussion- I bring a rough outline to our meetings on Tuesday of the text. After reading the passage out loud, I ask for thoughts and input from our team. The insight and information gained from this exercise are unifying for the team on Tuesday and Sunday.
- Big Issue Discussion- There is always something big we can talk about in our church. I make space for initiatives, concerns, and plans as needed with the staff. I reserve this time for corporate matters that impact each person on the team.
During the week, I sit down with individual team members to discuss more specific issues. When needed, a special meeting is planned to accomplish a particular task communicated before the meeting. Every minute a team member spends in a meeting is time they could be doing their ministry and not talking about their ministry.
The focus of my weekly time with leaders is to invest in the people. Pastors should shepherd the leaders who are investing in the congregation. This approach multiplies disciples by teaching the members a reproducible model of discipleship. A church that is multiplying in discipleship is taking steps toward being missional in its ministry. A disciple-making church moves ministry away from campuses and programs and into the hearts and lives of its people. Missional churches are made up of people who take the Gospel where they live, work, play, and shop through intentional relationships like the one modeled by the leadership team of the church.