The idea of having a teaching team rather than one singular teaching voice in a ministry or church is not a new idea. Many of you are in churches where you have a team of communicators but just most of you probably don’t live in this reality. No matter if we are talking about a church or a ministry area, it’s usually dominated by one voice. There is nothing wrong with that strategy but there are benefits that come from a team based model.
When I moved into my role as Executive Pastor at Grace Community we made the move to a team of communicators collaborating and sharing the teaching responsibilities. That team shapes the direction of our messages. Some on the team don’t speak very often but they bring incredible wisdom to the creation process. I was able to move in this direction because I have seen it work over and over in my years of student ministry. With multiple communicators speaking into the process we made our environments better and over the past year I have seen it work again here in our church context.
This week we hired a Teaching Pastor to lead that teaching team and the creative process at our church. You can read about him here. We know this is not the norm for most churches so I have been thinking about the advantages the teaching team model brings. Here are 6 reasons to consider using a teaching team in your context…
- The Bar is Raised // Teams working together help each other get better. The best communicator on the team sets the bar for the team and everyone has to put their pride aside and strive to be better communicators. Every week our team is helping each other improve.
- Different Voices Spur Spiritual Growth // When it comes to the communicators we hear each week having some different perspectives is a good thing and it helps spur spiritual growth. There is a needed balance here but using a team helps mix things up in our ministry context with communicators already trusted.
- Develop New Communicators // We have moved to live teaching on all locations at GCC for this reason. We want to be a church known for investing in and developing great communicators. Our team model allows us to give more communicators a chance to grow. People only become better communicators by speaking!
- Diffuse the Personality Trap // Most churches and ministries trust more in the personality and talent of their lead communicator more than anything else. The teaching team model helps people see God can be trusted as much as any one communicator. Team helps keep us all humble and committed to the mission.
- Provides Stability // When team is embraced then the church or ministry knows there are many talented leaders on he team not just one talented leader. If there is change in leadership there are already trusted voices to lean on.
- Creativity Thrives // The teaching team model ensures that there are many minds working on the message and not just one mind. When you let many talented communicators speak into the process you are destined to end up with a better message on Sunday.
In a student ministry you can move to this model with ease because teens value multiple voices. In a church wide setting it can be much harder. At Grace were set up for this model because we were founded with multiple communicators. Even with a team model people still need a primary voice. On both our locations we have a primary teacher and then others on the team that communicate. Even with a teaching team stability and consistency is a must for any church or ministry.
I know it may be difficult to allow other voices to speak into the message process but trust me…embracing the team idea will help your church or ministry move to a new level when it comes to the message every week!
Great post Michael! I completely agree with the value of Teaching teams. I enjoy speaking but I also know that if I’m not having others share, when I’m not there one week, who will be able to teach? I need to put others in this position. All 6 of your points are spot on! Thanks!