Building God’s “A” Ministry
I often ask pastors and leaders if they have all the gifted servants needed for their church. Some immediately say yes. Others look at me as if I have asked the disciple question, you know, “Who are you discipling?” And still others often blurt out that their church is so small that gifted servants aren’t part of it.
Regardless of the answer, the culture that we grew up in and aspire to says that to be great our ministries and churches must attain “A” status.
The reality is that the most effective churches are filled with “B” players and leaders. If this is so, then how do we build “A” ministries and churches with “B” players?
Let’s forego the temptation to compare A and B players. Focus instead on common attributes of B players.
- B players do not depend on their own superior talents. It’s their quality as servants that renders them phenomenally useable. They learn to work faithfully while recognizing their ordinariness. Our challenge is to value their ordinariness.
- B players boast in their weakness. They tap the tremendous resources of heaven through the essential quality of prayer and humility. B players are not into themselves; they are into God.
- B players are consistent. We all know that a great percentage of success is just showing up. B’s are defined by words like long-term and durable. They become faithful fixtures in the ministry.
- B players are team players. B’s are focused on ministry success and trust God that their contribution is of value to the overall ministry effort. They are more comfortable following; however, with your support will step up as servant leaders .
It’s not that A players don’t demonstrate these attributes. But A players can tend to rely on sheer talent. They make a big splash, but they can also sink quickly.
B players are often overlooked because of the very attributes that make them such assets to a church. Most often, their only desire is that their sacrifices make a significant difference in the lives of others.
Today, I understand that A ministries and churches are built mostly by B players who are led by God. The hearts of most of our churches are made up of B players.
Growing Killer B’s
If it’s true that B players are the heart and soul of our ministries and churches, then we should spend far more time discovering and developing them.
1. Start by identifying and thanking God for the B players in your church. Often we pray that God will provide new workers but seldom pray for the workers already in place. When I pray, I visualize those who carry the load week by week inside and outside the walls of the church building.
2. Encourage B players to develop their skills, provide opportunities for training and experience, and always remind them that their greatest asset is their heart. You don’t need to try to turn everybody into an A player, just channel the B’s to the right opportunities.
3. B players don’t need to be pushed, but they do need direction, permission to be creative in ministry, and support to ensure their success. The most effective stimulus is the constancy of the your leadership, creating an atmosphere of trust and loyalty that allows B players to thrive.
4. Hail the B honor roll. Send e-mails and notes of appreciation periodically. Send many notes of encouragement each month. Someone will tell you, “You will never know what your notes of encouragement do.” Little words and tokens of recognition and appreciation for people have the same effect that water does on the roots of a plant, causing them to extend deeper and stronger.
5. Create a culture that values humility, faithfulness, and longevity. Be a risk taker and push responsibility out to potential leaders. Be intentional about growing and empowering tomorrow’s leaders today as you publicly applaud years of faithful service. This sends the right message: that we are looking for tomorrow’s long-term ministers and leaders today.
It sounds paradoxical, but the A team in ministry is often made up of B players.
The cause that we are engaged in is worth giving your life for. Many organizations quit giving the gold watch for years of service, opting instead to recognize only performance, usually meaning some recent project. But we must reward both performance and faithfulness in ongoing and new responsibilities.
Remember, as God’s leader you are responsible for more than getting them into the pews. Help them become servants discipling disciples.
If you are interested in energizing the B players and multiplying the ministries of your church, I want to hear from you, pray for you, and work with you to disciple leaders and deploy disciples. LT
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