“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs
This philosophy helped to build Apple into what it is today, but it is not an idea that only applies to business. Working together as a team is a concept God created. It is etched into the creation story of Adam and Eve and carries on in the Church serving together as the body of Christ. Yet, many leaders in ministry to men find themselves in a spot where they are leading alone. If this is you, one of the most essential leadership decisions you will make is to form a core group – a team of men who will help you lead.
Pause Your Program
You are likely serving and leading without getting paid. You want to see men walking with Jesus and being great husbands and fathers, but you are also trying to figure out how to be a husband, father, and worker yourself. There is only so much you can do at the same time.
I recognize there may be a desire or pressure to put on great studies and events for men, but one of the greatest gifts you can give the men in your church is to hit pause on the men’s ministry to invest time in forming a core group.
One of the first times I was asked to lead men’s ministry in my church, I asked my pastor for some time to pray for others to step up to serve with me. You may want to start recruiting men to join your team, but recruiting men God has not called will only lead to disappointment and frustration. Finding the men God has already assigned to serve in this part of the body is important.
Here are some specific things you can pray for:
- Pray for God to call and place a burden in other men’s hearts to serve men.
- Pray for God to help you see who these men are and to connect you to them.
- Pray for God to give you names of men you should meet with.
- Pray for God to give you a team with different gifts to offer. Some are good at thinking strategically, some at planning events, and others are great at relational connecting.
God will give you names in different ways, so pay attention. Some men may randomly start talking to you; some names may come from other people who know something you don’t know, while others may simply be a name that comes to your mind.
As God brings you names, plan a time for coffee with each of them. This one-on-one time is essential. It allows you to hear more of their story, observe some things about their character, and see if there is a good relational connection where you could work well together as a team. Don’t tell them why you are getting together; focus instead on wanting to get to know them.
Invite Them to Vision and Mission
One of the mistakes often made when asking people to volunteer their time is that we focus our communication on tasks first. Tasks are secondary to vision and mission. As you connect with the men, talk to them about what you see are the needs in the lives of men and the possibilities of what would be different if men were living as disciples of Jesus.
From there, you can say something like this: “I was wondering if you would be interested in being part of a core group who will work together to help the men in our church and community be who God has created us to be?”
Identify Everyone’s Responsibility
As the team begins to form, work together to identify everyone’s responsibilities. Discover the spiritual gifts and passions God has given to the men in your core group. A well-rounded ministry to men will include the following:
- A primary leader who can think strategically.
- An events leader who is great at logistics and details.
- A small group leader who is strong with relational connections and Bible teaching.
- A communications leader who ensures men are aware and connected with the men’s ministry.
Your team may look different than this, and that is OK. This is just an example of the responsibilities you may give your team.
Pray Before You Plan
Jesus once said, “You can do nothing apart from me,.” (John 15:5). As a group, prayer must come before you plan, which must be built into everything you do. As a team, you need to ask God what He wants to do in the lives of men and ask Him for all the resources you need to carry out the work He is calling you to do.
Give yourself and your church the gift of a core group. It will be one of the best leadership decisions you make.