How Creating Circles Will Transform Your Children’s Ministry Team

How Creating Circles Will Transform Your Children’s Ministry Team

create circlesI have too many volunteers.

Before you pick up nearby stones, let me explain.

I still need volunteers — lots, actually. What I mean is that I have too many volunteers on my team for me to adequately minister and pour into each one of them myself. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

When I first began my leadership role in children’s ministry, I made it my goal to to reach all of my volunteers on a personal level. Serving in a church with four services and over a hundred children’s volunteers made it impossible for me to make meaningful connections with every volunteer. It didn’t take me long to feel a little burnt out and — even worse — ineffective in shepherding my flock. I had to change the way I lead my team.

Here are the four game-changing steps I took to transform my team.

Identify Key Leaders

I decided to begin by identifying my key leaders. I started asking myself, “Who on our volunteer team influences the people around them, naturally or by design?”

I composed a short list of people who seemed to carry clout on our volunteer team. But I discovered another problem. Some of them were supportive of our vision and some were following their own vision. Some influencers need to be managed and others need to be unleashed, which lead me to step two.

Choose Your Circle

After I’d identified the influencers on my team, I had to choose who I was going to be overly intentional with. I was looking for leaders who exemplified a commitment to our team, integrity, passion and a shared vision.

I chose key volunteers and referred to them as my “circle”. If I can’t reach 100, I decided I’d start with a handful. Seemed Biblical enough to me.

Develop Your Circle

I chose to dig deep with this small group of key leaders. I would invest in them by pouring into them and expanding their responsibilities. I would let them in on planning initiatives that none of the other volunteers had heard about yet. I’d gather their feedback so I could hear what’s happening on the “ground level”.

Ultimately, my goal was to equip and empower each one of them to reach 10 people of their own. And that’s exactly what they did.

Unleash Your Circle

Jesus had more than just twelve “disciples”. There were over 70 people who traveled with Jesus and committed to learn from Him. But Jesus chose 12 men to invest in the most.

After Jesus’ ascension, the 12 disciples He’d poured into were up to bat. It was their turn to do the equipping and discipleship. The went on to spread the Gospel, plant churches, and establish leadership teams in each one of those churches. Those churches would then do the same process within their own faith community.

Jesus created circles that created circles. And that’s exactly what we need to do.

You’d be amazed how your key leaders would respond if you were to give them the same challenge. Not only will you have partners willing to shoulder the load of ministry with you, but you’ll discover that the vision for your ministry will become sticky. If you have ten key influencers who are just as passionate about your ministry as you are, that excitement will become contagious among those they influence as well.

Your ministry is too big for you to do on your own. Share the load leadership and watch your ministry grow.

Jeremy O'Neill on Twitter
Jeremy O'Neill
Weekend Elementary Director at The Grove Community Church
Jeremy was born and raised in sunny Southern California. He's served in children's ministry for the last ten years, five years volunteering and five years on staff. He currently serves as the Elementary Weekend Director at The Grove Community Church. He’s a strong believer in creative communication, leadership development and vision casting. He loves to geek out over things like baseball, tech stuff and even graphic design. He’s still waiting to build a family of his own but he has promised to raise some Godly young Angels fans.

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