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The Single Greatest Contributor to Ministry Growth

Hire the right people!

Over the last 12 years our church plant has grown from zero to 1,000 in attendance.  This has been clearly a work of God and only His grace can be credited for such growth.  We’ve been the recipient of His unmerited favor and often sit in awe of God’s blessing.

In the last 4 years I’ve had many pastors ask what has contributed to our growth aside from God’s obvious gift of grace.  I always respond with the same answer: “We happened to hire the right people.”

Those who know our ministry well could easily tell you that Southern Hills is not a one-man-show.  The message I share is powerfully amplified by the instincts of Heather, administration of Fred, aptitude of Jason, creativity of Steve, organization of Cindy, zeal of Zeb, and work ethic of every other team member.

I want my team to envision, hire, and train their own teams!  This is the future.  They are to do what I’ve done.

Core Principle #9 for Ministry Teamwork is Envision Your Team.

At Southern Hills our team is reminded that…

1. Leaders Delegate.

The responsibilities that you currently hold may not always be personally done by you.  Each team member must begin to ask this question.  What must I do that can be entrusted to another?  What routine tasks or areas of responsibility should I eventually let go and hand to someone under my authority?

Not too long ago, two of my Lead Team members grasped this concept.  Separately they approached me and gave me the assurance they are growing to understand this leadership principle.  Fred stated simply, “I recently realized that I won’t always be the one balancing the checkbook.”  YES!  Though this won’t change the fact that he is ultimately responsible for what happens with each financial account of the church – He won’t be the one actually writing each check and reconciling each book.    Jason too said a few months ago, “You know, I won’t always be leading worship from the platform on Sundays.”  Yup!  He gets it.  Though he will remain in charge of program there is quickly coming a day when he’ll send out on stage some young face with passion in his heart, guitar in his hands, and service schedule in his back pocket.

2. Their 90% is better than your 100%.

The danger in delegation is disappointment.  If you give it to someone else they may not be able to do it as well as you.  Sadly, this is part of the reason why many will refuse to delegate and find their ministries greatly hindered.  Here’s what I’ve found.  If they accomplish the task with a 90% approval rate from you, then it was a huge success.  Why?  Because the project is done and you didn’t have to do it!

But here is the reality.  Often the one you delegate to, after proper training, will likely start doing it twice as good as you ever could.  This is the ultimate goal.  Find someone who is smarter, faster, better, and more talented than you to do what you’re supposed to do.  Then hire them, train them, and empower them.  

3. Who would you hire next?

I often pose this question to my team members.  I want Zeb to know who he’d hire to assist him if we had the budget.  I want Steve to identify the next potential media guy or jr. high director for his team.  Cindy should know now who she’d pick for her next office employee if Fred approached her with the opportunity of hiring in the next two months.  They should not be as concerned with who my next staff member should be – but with who their next staff member should be.  They should envision their own team.

Here is the Ministry Goal: Only do what only you can do.  Everything else should eventually be delegated.  Then someone is able to clear a schedule enough to:

  1. Become exceedingly proficient in their area of expertise
  2. Take more time to disciple, mentor, and train others
  3. Share the Gospel through personal evangelism
  4. Wash the feet of the Disciples through random acts of service

There are many factors that contribute to a successful ministry.  I believe one of the greatest is teamwork.  We must be building our teams and we must be teaching our teams to build their own.

(There are 10 Core Principles for ministry teamwork that our church staff has adopted. These 10 have helped our staff through our most excited days and challenging setbacks. I’ve already shared the 1st2nd3rd 4th, 5th, 6th , 7th , 8th principles in previous posts. Here I’ve shared our 9th – which is Envision Your Staff.)

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