Most businesses have a C Suite – the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, and so on – the top executives, the brain trust that keeps the business on track. Rather than “suite,” I prefer the word “team” from the sports arena, where one person calls the plays and a team makes it happen. Each player knows his or her role, and together they are better than the individual. You will always be the one driving the process forward, but eventually you will need people around you.
When I first started at Saddleback, I performed all the functions that my C Team now performs. I later realized that by not giving away the ministry, I was hurting myself and robbing others of opportunities to use their giftedness and pursue their passions.
You’ll find both motivation and wisdom in a team with which you connect in relationships.
In your search for your C Team, don’t overlook anyone anywhere in your small groups or in your church. For these roles, you should be more concerned about gifting than where people have fit historically in your organization.
Look for capability and availability. Capable C Team members are passionate about their responsibilities on the team and appropriately gifted. As for availability, I have discovered that passionate people don’t always look at their calendars before committing. As much as it may pain you, make sure your recruits have time to do the job right or you’ll end up with nothing more than a name on a line. Asking the hard questions up front will pay off in the long run.
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Just as relational connection is vital within your ministry, it is also vital between your ministry and other church ministries. Your C Team can help as ambassadors to senior church leadership and other ministries, helping cultivate buy-in from your entire church for your small group vision and mission. So its important that every C Team member “gets” the big picture of your ministry, is able to relate well with other influencers, and positively impacts your church culture.
I recommend recruiting C Team members who specialize in different aspects of ministry planning and development, ideally matching each members responsibilities with his or her passions, experience, and gifting. At Saddleback the aspects would be Connecting, Growing, Investing. Reaching and Sustaining. This is where you become a human resource expert, finding the best person to help you strategize and execute your plans in one aspect of your ministry strategy.
I cannot overstate the importance of prayer in this. Pray for wisdom as the Lord brings people to your mind. Review each distinct area of ministry responsibility, and pray for the Lord’s wisdom to bring the right person for that job. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find everyone right away. Take your time, and let God reveal who he wants to bring alongside you.
To take this action plan deeper and to develop a strategic plan for your small group ministry, read my new book, “Planning Small Groups With Purpose.” Find it HERE