Ministry is about people. Loving them, serving them, showing them Jesus and so much more. To effectively reach people, it takes a healthy team. Not an individual person, but a collective people. It takes work, communication, unity and a commonality amongst a team that pursues missions more than preference.
Personal preference can distort purity…
In the grind of ministry there are constant projects, meetings, deadlines, and assignments that all push the team closer to fulfilling the mandate of Jesus. To “Preach the Gospel in all the world to every creature.” (See Mark 16:15) When you think about it, everything we do while in ministry is just in hopes that one person would hear the story of Jesus and how much He loves them. The work is for Jesus, but that leads to an often easily missed question: is Jesus in the work?
Do our meetings reflect Jesus, do our deadlines and the way we communicate with our teams reflect Jesus, do the way we work together reflect Jesus? If not there’s bound to be moments of discord and division. We are called to keep the main thing, the main thing. And that takes a team, not just an individual.
One common deficit to a healthy organization is missed deadlines. Missed opportunities to advance the mission. Like a clogged pipe, certain things that don’t happen can easily slow down or even stop the flow of the mission. Consider this:
A baker walks into a room full of young apprentices. He looks around the room and then starts sharing his vision with enthusiasm: “We’re going to make a cake!” He then assigns each individual to bring an ingredient. Eggs, flour, oil, butter, sugar and so on. Hours later everyone returns with their ingredient except for one person who shows up without the eggs. With smiles on their faces, the other apprentices are satisfied because they did their part. But the cake can not be made until all ingredients are there.
It’s in moments like this that often times we’ll check off our list because we brought our ingredient. But the mission was not to bring an ingredient, the mission was the make a cake. When we see others on our team holding up the flow, we can’t walk away and be satisfied with our share. Even though there’s other things happening, if one person is behind it will stop the flow of everyone else on the team.
Great leaders don’t cover their own assignments, they see all areas and contribute to helping each area prosper. With that in mind, there are ways to clear the clog in our teams. It can be tricky, and they may be some discomfort at first, but in the end we’ll experience more growth, more results, and more unity. Here’s a few tips to having Drano in your ministry.
1. Recognize the signs
There are dashboard signs to people falling behind in their work. Whether it’s their attitude, or the quality of their work, it shouldn’t be hard to see the pipe starting to clog. Be aware when things start to back up and be prepared to address it.
2. Create long-term solutions
A tragedy to trying to clear the clog is temporary fixes. We try something easy to fix a problem that might have many layers. If your sink has been clogged before by something, after paying the price to fix it, you most likely won’t put that down the drain again.
3. Have a culture of teamwork
Great teams know that if one person is behind, all of them are behind. It’s one thing to say you’re a team, it’s another thing to actually work as a team. Jesus did a lot with His team, and although it took a few years to solidify, His team is still growing and moving forward today.
4. Communicate…a lot
The easiest way to keep the drain clear is communicate. Send emails, texts, phone calls and so on. Try staff management softwares or apps like Basecamp or Trello, that can help keep everyone flowing. I believe that when it comes to sharing Jesus, we can’t over communicate. The should be true in our work.
There are plenty of other ways to keep workflow moving smooth, but for now think about these four things. Do you see the flow starting to clog? If so, it may be time to make some changes. The sooner we see the signs, the sooner we can become the solutions.
We love you, we’re praying for you, we’ll see you soon!