How to get and keep your ministry teams in alignment

Is everyone on your ministry team rowing in the same direction and following the same cadence?

Have you ever lost patience and “flown off the handle” with a staff member who didn’t do something “right”? Or has someone “flown off the handle” at you because you didn’t do something “right”?

You know what I mean by right, “the way you wanted it done”.

When a staff member doesn’t handle a problem like we would like or they don’t run a program or follow procedures the way we want we can often express our displeasure in a way that isn’t … well, the best.

Why does this situation happen in the first place? Who is really at fault in this scenario? The leader or the follower? I would contend that it is the leader who is to blame if he hasn’t taught and trained his followers to perform to his “liking”. Every ministry needs to be organizationally aligned. I believe there are at least three things every leader must do if they hope to develop congruence among their staff so that everyone on your team is rowing together in sync. We all need our staff to be in alignment with our ministry design.

Below are three ways to help us calibrate our staff, both paid and volunteer, so they are on the same page and know what is expected of them as they serve in your church or ministry.

First, create organizational alignment by having regular contact with them.

  • You can’t keep your ministry leaders and their teams aligned if you don’t have regular contact with them.
  • I believe they will do their very best with what you give them. Is the problem that we don’t give them what they need to be successful?
  • It is just a fact that your staff will make decisions you don’t like if you aren’t spending time with them.
  • Technology allows us to have “contact” with our ministry leaders if we can’t physically be with them all the time. We can use video conferences, text, email, and other ways to stay in contact.
  • I prefer one on one, in-person, meetings along with regular staff meetings.
  • I believe these meetings are essential if you wish to keep everyone up to speed with your ministry design.

Second, create organizational alignment by communicating with them.

  • I agree with Michael Hyatt. (Click on his name to read his recent article.) We have to communicate with them. Contact is not enough.
  • Our ministry leaders are not mind readers. They must know what you expect of them.
  • They must be taught and regularly reminded about your ministry design.
  • They must understand and take ownership of your core values, mission, vision, strategic plan and desired outcomes.
  • They must know what their role is and what you expect of them.
  • Repeatedly communicate your expectations, in writing, in person, in groups, by recorded video and any other means you can think of to help your staff.
  • By the way, don’t forget to keep this in “real-time” so you are re-calibrating them as you go day-to-day in your ministry activities.
  • If something is not “the way you like it” then speak up and coach them.
  • Don’t wait until things go “wrong” to make your correction.
  • Be proactive in your coaching.

Third, create organizational alignment with your ministry team by connecting with them.

  • Again, I agree with Michael Hyatt. Communicating is not enough. You have to connect with them.
  • They need to know and trust you.
  • You need to earn their trust and loyalty.
  • I believe we should bear our soul and let them see deep into our heart to help them understand what is motivating us at the deepest part of who we are.
  • One way to develop the trust factor between you and your staff is to talk about the “why” that is behind the what, when, where, who and how of your ministry design.
  • They need to know what is really motivating us.
  • Your staff need to know what really is at stake and connect to the “why” in a deep, personal way.
  • I believe they need to take ownership of the “why”.

If you want your ministry team to make good decisions in real-time as they serve week in and week out then create organizational alignment by regular contact, clear communication and in-depth connection.

I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you wish to dig deeper into how to develop alignment among your staff. We can sort it out together.


Source: How to Sync Up your Team For Success by Michael Hyatt

Marshall Shannon
Ministry Design Coach
Pre-Construction Navigator
Certified Church Consultant 
Equipping & Encouraging Pastors and Ministry Leaders
Creating Facility Design Solutions

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