Church Planting: Building a Team (part two)

This is the ninth installment in a series based on my adventures in planting a church.  For more information on the series, or to see what else we have walked through, check out the original post.  My hope is to use this series to develop a resource for planters as they are thinking about diving in, or need to process their current situation… this resource is incomplete without your contribution (that is a subtle way of saying leave a comment).

Tuesday I shared a little bit about building the team that you will be planting alongside.  We started off walking through the basics of developing a solid pastoral team.  Today I want to talk a little bit about what to look for in your core team.  For our purposes, members of your core team are those who are bought into what you are doing, and have committed to being a major part of the church.

They can be small group leaders, worship team members, or children’s ministry leaders… regardless of the role that they play, there are  several characteristics that a savvy church planter will be looking for in the members of a core team.  The assumption I make is that anyone you are considering is a disciple of Jesus.  Disclaimer, I spent several years as a youth pastor… which explains the acronym formed by my criteria:

  • Faithful.  You are looking for people who are willing to commit to being a significant part of the church that you are planting.  They need to be reliable, and you need to be able to count on them to follow through on their commitments.
  • Available.  The demands on a core team are high, and your core team needs to have the space to fully engage in work that you are up to.  The season of life that a person, or family, is in will determine their availability to fully participate in laying the church’s groundwork.
  • Responsible.  I learned early on as a ministry leader how important it is to have people you can trust on your team.  Your core team will, in many ways, reflect and represent your church to the neighborhood in which you are serving.  Having people you trust to be responsible with the reputation of your church will be highly important.
  • Teachable.  Members of your core team need to be willing to submit, both to the Holy Spirit and your leadership.  A teachable spirit is marked by humility and authenticity, two qualities that you want on your team.
  • Enthusiastic.  A genuine sense of excitement for what God has called your church to is key to developing a solid core team.  While there will be hard days, and things will not always go well, the enthusiasm that comes from knowing that you are changing lives, and eternities, needs to get your team jazzed.
  • Relational.  Ministry is a team sport.  An understanding of the importance of relationships, and a desire to do things in community, will enable your team to do far more than you ever would as a group of individuals.  Please not that the word is not extrovert.  Whether a person is extroverted or introverted, they need to have a hunger for community and ministering together.
What do YOU look for in YOUR core team?

About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

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  • Matthew Anderson

    These are all qualities we look for in our core team members. We’re currently in the Saint Louis area, but we’ll be planting near Salt Lake City, Utah. This will be a major cultural adjustment for our people, so want to make sure they are called to a “foreign” mission field too. Thanks! 

    • Matt Steen

      That WILL be a pretty significant cultural shift… I’d love to hear more about what you are up to…