“There’s no ‘I’ in team.” If you’ve ever played a team sport, then you have heard this quote. If you’ve been in ministry for long, you know it’s true. A team will always have a greater impact than an individual!
There may not be an “I” in team, but there are two in limit! You see, limiting your ministry impact is easy: just try to do everything yourself. A good leader is a great fit for a group of twelve, but those who want to impact fifties, hundreds, and thousands will need a team.
To reach fifty people you will need to build a team. To reach 100, you will need to develop your team. To reach 1,000, you will need to empower your team to do the ministry without you.
Last week was spring break, and a lot of our team was out. With so many missing, I was responsible for more than ever. So I spent most of the day putting out fires instead of building relationships. I was working in the trenches instead of directing traffic, and too busy with tasks to invest in people.
A limited team means limited impact, and the best way to limit your ministry is to do too much yourself. Last week was a limiting week, and it reminded me of three lies we buy into that limit our ministry impact. Let’s take a look at these lies and how to overcome them!
3 Lies that Limit a Pastor’s Impact
1) If I want it done right, I’ve got to do it myself.
This is the lie that keeps us from building a team. When we buy into it, we believe no one else can do what we can do. We put the weight of the ministry on our shoulders. The problem is it’s a weight too heavy for one person to bear.
The truth is if you want it done right, you need a team. No one person, no matter how talented, can pour into more than ten or so people. A team of ten can impact fifty though. So if you want to reach more people, it’s time to build a team.
2) That’s something only I need to do.
Lie number two is similar, but just as limiting. Believing lie number one keeps us from building a team, but lie number two keeps us from developing a team. Pastors who believe this lie don’t try to do everything themselves, but keep the most important things to themselves.
The more people our ministries reach, the more we will need to trust others to do. Just this week a mentor reminded me: If anyone around you can do anything you do 75% as well, then let them do it. If they can do it at 75%, I can develop the other 25%. Don’t get me wrong, there are always things you will need to do as the leader. However, the key to maximizing your impact is keeping that list as short as possible.
3) If they can do it without me, they don’t need me.
This lie keeps the best leaders from going to the next level because it keeps them from empowering their team. The leaders with the greatest impact spend their time empowering others to lead instead of doing the ministry themselves. Developing leaders is only half of the battle. Empowering them to do the ministry in your place and own it is next level leadership.
The most indispensable leaders are those who can build a team, develop them, and then empower them to do the ministry they used to do. When you empower others to take your place, it doesn’t make you less needed, but more! The pastor who will impact hundreds and thousands is the one whose ministry becomes empowering others to reach the tens and twenties.
If you want to limit your ministry impact, buy into these leadership lies. If you want to make an eternal impact, build a team, develop people, and empower them to do high level ministry.
Which lie do you struggle with most? What’s your next step?