Team Building Is Biblical!
Steve Womack, a Wycliffe career staff person who worked for a number of years as a team building coach, put together a Bible study that may help you see the whole process in a new light.
Develop a Team
Your ministry is a team effort. In addition to those serving with you on the field, your team includes those who provide prayer, financial, and other support. At the same time God is calling you, he is also preparing a group of individuals and churches to become your partners. They will be blessed seeing the eternal impact of their contributions to Bible translation through their relationship with you. Support team building is often called partnership development, or simply PD.
Building your team is:
- engaging people whom God has called to be senders
- a ministry of educating individuals and the church about the impact of Bible translation, and the needs of Bible-less people groups
- similar to organizing and promoting a special event or recruiting investors to back the launch of a new business venture
- exciting and relational
Many individuals may support you because of their personal relationship with you, not because they are especially interested in your ministry. We cannot overstate the importance of maintaining your partner relationships.
Individuals give financial support in whatever amounts and at whatever frequency suits them, as God directs. A sending organization may offer electronic fund transfers or credit card services to donors (with credit card fees charged to the recipient).
You might assume that most of your financial support will come from churches. Many churches, however, already support multiple individuals and ministries, receive many requests, and sometimes must stretch their resources to respond.
For many, a staff person’s home church will provide a substantial contribution to the their total monthly requirement. However, experience shows that most of your financial supporters will be individuals. Of course, churches are a primary place for meeting people who become financial and prayer partners.
Church partnerships typically take one or more of the following forms:
- Ministry access—Often a church will approve formal or informal opportunities for you to meet with their membership. Usually the leadership desires to expand the ministry vision of their group. Being available and even eager to do presentations for various groups within the church (for example, children, prayer, small groups) can lead to further opportunities for partnerships.
- Vital Prayer support—Churches and small groups will include the individuals and ministries they support on their prayer lists.
- Small group support—Sunday school groups or activity groups often take up regular or one-time collections or provide practical support.
- Church financial support—The church gives a one-time or fixed amount per month, quarter, or even yearly. You may need to submit an application to the mission board or committee. Many churches want to have people visit or serve with them before deciding to partner financially.
Churches typically partner with people from their own congregations or denomination. Some have already established a geographical or ministry strategy for their giving. Due to fiscal year budgeting, funds may not be available until the next fiscal cycle. Other requirements a church might set for workers they support could include desired newsletter frequency, annual reporting, or training.
How Partnership Development Works
Partnership development starts when you and God begin building a team of partners, and it continues throughout your ministry. There are various ways to develop partnerships.
- Look for opportunities God may provide through personal contacts.
- Meet with people individually to share about your ministry and to encourage financial support.
- Speak at events to present Bible translation and your role in it, as well as to expand the group’s vision for ministry to Bible-less people groups.
- Submit applications to missions committees.
- Speak at churches, schools, small groups, Bible studies, and other venues.
- Send regular newsletters to partners and others interested to update them on the ministry.
- Email or mail updates as prayer needs arise.
- Travel to visit partners.
- Regularly thank your partners
- handwritten notes
- phone calls
- small gifts such as calendars, bookmarks