3 Questions to Help Pastors Build Their Dream Team
When I think of a team of people who were invaluable to one another, the “Big Three” comes to mind. And no, I don’t mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the Miami Heat. At a pay cut to all three, they at one time negotiated their contracts to all play together on the same team and, dare I say it, dominated the basketball court for a time. Together they accomplished much.
I grew up during the era of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen dominating on the Chicago Bulls and the 1996 women’s Olympic gymnastic team, the “Magnificent Seven” (my personal favorites). This was a great time to watch gifted athletes perform at their best. I think it’s safe to argue that one of the reasons they were the best is the team that surrounded them. The people we choose to join our team matter.
GREAT PEOPLE ARE PRODUCTS OF EVEN GREATER TEAMS.
Here are three questions for pastors and church leaders to ask when building their team this year. Note: This post isn’t about building your church staff team, though that is also of extreme importance, but rather how to build your own personal team. Read on:
1. Why do I need my own team?
It’s not uncommon for senior pastors to create their own team of mentors and friends to hold them accountable and encourage them as they endeavor to make their God-given dreams come to life. In fact, sometimes lead pastors are required to build a team of advisors as part of their terms of employment. But, just because you aren’t required in your job description to build a team of advisors doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.
I think of this personal team of advisors as strong fence posts: with humility and transparency on your part, they will keep you from the heartache of going outside the boundary lines. In looking forward to the next few months and years, who will you be adding to your team? Who are you looking to surround yourself with this next year that speaks into your growth areas, encourages you in your resolutions and goals, and inspires hope?
2. Who should be on my team?
I think who we surround ourselves with deeply affects our world view and our actions. A great place to begin when starting your own team of advisors is with three to five individuals you deeply respect. This could include a spouse, a fellow senior pastor, a mentor who has already walked the path you’re on, a coworker and/or a close friend. Seek those who have the utmost integrity and discernment.
Proverbs 27:6 says: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
3. What other influences can I include on my dream team?
My personal “dream team” wouldn’t be complete without the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt and Elisabeth Elliott, because I am truly inspired by these women in history. Your personal team should include not only trusted friends and mentors, but also wise authors and influencers, living or dead. I polled our team at Vanderbloemen on what influences they would like to speak into their family and ministry beyond just their “board of advisors.” I received a wide variety of feedback that included:
- Seth Godin
- Dave Ramsey
- C.S. Lewis
- The Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast
- The Allender Center Podcast
- Church of the Highlands (Sermons)
- Audio Liturgy (Podcast)
- Paul Tripp
- Tony Morgan & The Unstuck Group
- Carey Nieuwhof
- Sam Chand
- Thom Rainer
- Jenni Catron
When building your best team, it’s crucial to have an idea that is both goal-driven and achievable in a year. Finding the people that truly inspire you is a great way to start understanding and accomplishing your personal goals as a pastor.
I am reminded of King David and Bathsheba as a cautionary tale teaching us that no one is insusceptible to sin. If David, deemed a “man after God’s own heart,” had been where he was supposed to be (on the battle field), there is potential that the whole mess could have been avoided. How could life have looked differently if he had humbled himself on a regular basis and sought input in his decisions? I wonder if his “personal board of advisors” would have told him to stop being lazy and get back on the battlefront! I hope this year we all get back to the battlefront and seek insight in our ministries and lives.
What steps will you take to begin building your dream team this year?
If you liked this, then you’ll also enjoy Why You Need a Mentor and How to Get One.