4 Teams Every Senior Pastor Needs

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Teams are everywhere. Patrick Lencioni speaks about the power of teams, John Maxwell explains the value of teams, and Forbes shares a plethora of great articles on leading teams. But which teams would be the most helpful to a pastor?

The daily load of a pastor can be extremely taxing, in some extreme cases leading eventually to burnout. Thankfully, there are many resources available that can help prevent burnout in ministry, starting with building an all-star team around a pastor. Below are 4 teams that every senior or teaching pastor needs to lead effectively.

1. Teaching team

A teaching team is a recent concept that has emerged with the addition of multi-service weekends. Under this model, there are some pastors who end up teaching up to 6-7 times on a weekend. Having a teaching team offers a few crucial benefits:

  • Builds up other communicators. The teaching team model allows the opportunity for the Senior Pastor to mentor emerging teachers. In our line of work, many of our client churches are searching for staff with teaching experience and this model would be a great addition to any church leadership development plan.
  • Allows for work/life balance.

The easiest way to beat burnout is to place a priority on spending time with the people and activities that matter most. Tweet: The easiest way to beat burnout is to place a  priority on spending time with the people and activities that matter most. https://bit.ly/2EtfKrH via @VanderbloemenSG

Church leaders and pastors have to be proactive in creating boundaries and sharing the load. Schedule time for yourself, your family, your friends, and the activities that recharge you.

  • Offers different perspectives. Teaching team models offer the congregation the opportunity to experience a different voice, a fresh perspective, and greater resources throughout the church.
  • Saves years on your life. If you are a pastor reading this, my guess is you understand exactly what I am saying. I used to say that teaching one message on the weekend feels like working an 8-hour day. Imagine speaking 3, 4, or even 5 times over a weekend. If you’re reading this and you are not a pastor but in leadership, take initiative to make the necessary changes to consider if a teaching team model is right for your church.
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2. Planning team

A solid planning team is a group of people recruited to help plan the weekend services, conduct research, and prepare messages. A planning team often includes the worship pastor, creative arts director, and/or a researcher. As a pastor, the planning team should be a group of people who inspire you, bring a different perspective, and are bursting with creativity. When gathering a planning team, look for a team that would actually be helpful to you as you create your messages.

3. Accountability team

While churches often have their own boards of directors, an accountability team for the pastor is more of a personal life board. This team is a group of trusted mentors and friends who have “been there and done that”. An accountability team should be a combination of similar personalities and differing perspectives that can both challenge and encourage a pastor through the peaks and valleys of life.

4. Prayer team

As a pastor, a prayer team could be a huge addition to your ministry and personal life. Early in my ministry career, I had two people approach me and they asked if they could just pray for me on a weekly basis. They did not have an agenda, they did not require me to be present, they simply asked how could they pray for me on a weekly basis.

Recruit a couple of people who care for you as a person, not just as a pastor. What an encouragement it is to know you have a team of people who are praying for you and your family.

What teams do you have in your life or what teams should you consider?

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