Building Your Men’s Ministry Leadership Team
February 17, 2017
So you’re a men’s ministry leader in your church, and you’re wondering about ways to help the ministry move forward. Consider this fact: One of the keys to a successful, growing ministry is a quality leadership team. It isn’t enough to have just one man who can see where God is going and can help a group of men get there. You need other men serving alongside the leader. Where will you find the men to make up your ministry leadership team? They are probably right under your nose.
Can you already identify the leaders of your team? If not, look for these qualities in the men you want to join you in leadership:
Servant spirit: In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus shared with His disciples the key element in spiritual leadership. He told them that the way up is down, that the person who will lead is the one who will serve. Our society is obsessed with climbing the ladder, up scaling, promotions and upward mobility. Jesus declared that those who will lead in the kingdom of God will be obsessed with descending the ladder, downscaling, spiritual demotions and downward mobility. Those who lead will be servants to all.
It is easy to find men who want to be involved in ministry if they can start at the top and don’t have to do ordinary, dirty jobs. They want to be up front teaching or around the table making decisions, not in the back making coffee or setting up chairs. Some men feel that they are above certain tasks. They import their marketplace position, power and philosophy, believing that it will work in the church. It doesn’t, and it shouldn’t.
Getting a ministry going requires an enormous amount of work. Some tasks – making calls, compiling surveys, sending out mailings – are repetitious and menial. But they need to be done. One man on your leadership team who thinks he is above that kind of work breeds instant division.
Character: It isn’t how you look, where you work, what you have, whom you know or what you know that counts. It is who you are when no one else is looking. It is a man’s character that counts.
Men of character drive real ministry. A great passage on leadership is 1 Samuel 16:7. God told Samuel not to look at a man’s outward appearance. God looks at the heart. This is a key principle for selecting a leadership team. Some additional helpful guidelines are the lists Paul gave to Timothy for selecting elders and deacons (See 1 Timothy 3:1-13). And 1 Timothy 4:12 offers one of the best measuring tools for choosing leaders. It provides five standards to measure a man’s character:
- Speech: Does he use his tongue to tear down or build up? Does he lie or speak the truth?Is he sarcastic and cutting or loving and kind?
- Life: Is there consistency between his behavior or Sunday and Monday? Does he visualize what he verbalizes, behaving in accordance with what he believes? There is no room on a leadership team for someone who doesn’t live his faith in the marketplace.
- Love: Is he interested in others’ well-being? Does he show compassion and tenderness toward others?
- Faith: Is he willing to take wise risks and live on the edge? Is he willing to trust God, or does he live purely by human strength?
- Purity: Is this man seeking to be morally, ethically and spiritually pure before God?
Godliness: The greatest gift your leadership team can give the men of your church is their personal holiness. Nothing is more important in leading other men to Christ than a vital, authentic relationship with Jesus. In selecting men to be on your leadership team, start with men you know who are in love with Jesus. Here are some things to look for:
- Strong private life: Do they regularly spend time with Jesus? When you get together with men, ask them what they are learning in their daily devotions. Unless they regularly spend time with Jesus, they will have nothing to give to others. What they are in private with Jesus will directly influence what they do in public with other men.
- Obedience: Are they seeking to obey God in all areas of life, or is there an area in which they knowingly continue to sin? Are they open to accountability to others for their life and actions?
- Worship: Godly men love to worship. They make sure they regularly meet with God’s people to worship. If a man’s hobby or favorite spectator sport regularly causes him to miss Sunday worship, he’s making a loud statement about his priorities.
Passion: To have passion is to be enthusiastic about what you are doing, to eagerly anticipate the next time you get together with your men. You love what you are doing and are thankful that God has given you gifts and the incredible privilege of serving Him. When you interview men for your leadership team, ask these questions to gauge their passion for ministry: What is your vision for men’s ministry? What gets you the most excited about serving? Where do you see yourself fitting in? From these questions and others you will get a sense of whether they really want to do ministry or are motivated by guilt or obligation.
Giftedness: The final quality to seek in a man for your leadership team is giftedness. Every man is gifted, but you must make sure that he is gifted for his area of responsibility.
Our natural tendency is to surround ourselves with men just like us — those we want as friends. Men with different gifts think differently. They might laugh at opposite things. They process experiences and emotions in a variety of ways. It can be death to a ministry if everyone on the team is the same. Although Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren was a great offensive coordinator, he was relatively weak in defense. Holmgren led two Packers teams to the Super Bowl because he surrounded himself with strong defensive minds that complemented his offensive schemes. In the same way, a leader of men needs to surround himself with other men who complement his giftedness.
As you pull together a men’s ministry leadership team, think through the following areas to ensure a well-rounded team. Is there a man with the gift of …
Leadership? Many leaders–even pastors–do not have the gift of leadership. A leader has the abilities to develop a vision and to get others involved to make that vision a reality.
Administration? A ministry launch generates endless numbers of administrative tasks. Find someone who likes administration–keeping ministry details organized and workers on task and on time.
Helps? With so much to get done, you need to have someone on your leadership team who relishes doing little, behind-the-scenes things that make a ministry work.
Mercy? Sometimes a leadership team full of men who like to get things done leaves a bunch of battered people in their wake. You need someone who can care for the men, be a kinder and gentler example to overeager leaders and a shepherd to other leaders as the team develops.
These four gifts keep a leadership team working well. They bring balance to one another. It’s possible, though, to have the proper gift mix but still get nowhere. Each man must bring with him not only a gift but also a deep willingness to be a team player. If each member of the leadership team offers his gifts and willingness to serve, you are already on your way to effective men’s ministry.