Help! I’ve Inherited a Team

So, you’ve started a new ministry . . .

How do you deal with previous job descriptions and expectations?

Put another way, how do you get your new team to start functioning the way YOU want them to?

Here’s one way of making the transition:

1. Call a meeting of your entire team. 

You’ll want to get everyone together for this one. Let them know ahead of time that no one is in trouble. This is called “previewing.” No one likes going to a “serious” meeting without a heads up. The torture that your mind puts you through in unbearable, especially if you’re already concerned about “the new Pastor.” Set the meeting ahead of time and preview the agenda at your regular team meeting. Tell them something like this, “Hey, as I learn about this team and get a grasp on how we can work best together, I’d like everyone to give me an accurate rundown of what their week looks like. If you could type that up and include, in your own words, your job description, that would be great. Also, list your top 3 passions about your job and give me 3 things you’d like to see changed. We’ll meet next week at ______.”

Getting this information is crucial to you being the best leader you can be and having the best team possible. The “homework” should flesh out some stuff and it’ll help three types of new team members:

The “We’ve always done it this way” person. Everyone knows that you really just want to smack this person. But since we cannot suspend reality, it’s not a good leadership move. Don’t allow this person to push you towards being passive aggressive either. Maintain your control. I’ve also seen leaders because hyper-sensitive around this type of new member too. Pray against that! More than likely, this individual isn’t trying to disrespect you and shut you down. They are probably lower capacity in their leadership and just lack training. If they always say they’ve done it a certain way, it’s probably because that’s all they know.

The “That’s not my job” person. If we can be frank for a moment (Don’t get excited, I’m not talking about Frank Gil), who gives a rip if it’s your job or not. If I create your job description, I CAN MAKE IT YOUR JOB. Just be patient with this individual. Giving them the homework mentioned above sets the stage for you to adjust their job description.

and finally…

The “I’m an under the radar/under performing type” person. This guy (or girl) likes to do the absolute minimum. They will waste the day away on searching for a youtube video to play as an opener for your service. I promise it shouldn’t take 8 hours to find the perfect 2 minute clip on youtube. However, they make it look like a make or break moment. This person is begging to either a.) be fired or b.) be given a job description and be held accountable. Put them to work!

2. Think like a business man/woman.

You’re the leader of a team now. Act like it. A good leader has great relationships with their team, but they aren’t best friends or “tell me all of your secrets” type of friends. That’s unhealthy. Be prepared to be the leader, which means you sometimes have to make hard calls. If you need to let someone go, prepare for it. If you need to have crucial conversations with an employee, think through it and pray for courage. If you need to say, “I’m not going to pay you 15.00 an hour to look for youtube videos” then get ready. Transition is difficult, but it’s a fact of life.

While YOU prepare for this meeting, it’s important to get your game plan together. Team input is huge, but you need to have a plan ready first. Spend this time thinking through each person on your team. Evaluate like a business person how they fit and what their function is in reality. How would you like them to work? What do you want them to focus on? They are your team members now.

I once heard a leader say at the Global Leadership Summit that you either allow the type of team you have or you change the type of team you have.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what to do if you’ve just inherited an admin.

Be strong! We’re all in this together!

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