Keep It Real – Leading Your Team Towards Personal and Ministry Health

Every person struggles with pressure and stress within their own personal lives. We know this to be absolutely true. So it should be no surprise to us that every leader in ministry is currently struggling with some heavy aspect of their role and responsibilities as well.

We do ourselves and our teams a great injustice when we suppress this reality or ignore it amongst ourselves. Just “putting on a happy face” all the time is not very genuine or culturally supportive for the team. Because the natural tendency is to hide from this truth and hope it will resolve itself, the need for an intentional and purposeful discussion is even greater.

  • Supply each team member with an index card and a writing utensil.
  • Briefly discuss the realities and normalcy of the struggles we face in ministry much like were discussed in the beginning of this exercise.
    • You may want to ask the question – “What are some common struggles and stressors that someone in ministry may expect to experience?” as a conversation starter.
  • Take a moment and pray as a team that God would reveal to each team member a known and perhaps even an unrecognized area of struggle that they are currently under.
  • After prayer is concluded ask each team member to write down the struggles that they are currently experiencing within their ministry specific role.
    • Based on the level of intimacy you currently share with your team, if you believe that a safe environment exists, go ahead and ask if any member of the team would feel comfortable revealing and discussing their current struggles. (You may want to reiterate the boundaries for such a discussion to your team.)
    • Another step in exercise that can be implemented if the team is really safe would be to allow each team member to identify a perceived struggle that they believe they have seen in a team members ministry or life that may very well be unrecognized to them – a blind spot.

If there is not a safe level of intimacy for discussion at this time in the group, then simply ask each team member to take their index card and continue to pray that God would provide solutions. Also encourage the opportunity for open discussion in a more private setting if anyone would be interested in continuing to seek solutions.

The ultimate point of this exercise is not to simply reveal areas of struggle within the ministry, although that is beneficial in it’s own right. The greater point is to provide a platform by which each team member can offer a greater level of support to those around him or her who are currently under the weight of their own struggle.

This team exercise can be very healing and restorative in many ways to a team who are bearing the weight and worry that naturally comes with their ministry calling. It will be up to you as the primary leader to dig into it as deeply as you feel would be safe and productive as possible. But remember, as uncomfortable as it may be to have this team discussion, the consequences of not having it could mean a real breakdown and detriment to the ministry as a whole.


About Ken McGarity

With vast experience as a successful entrepreneur and active in ministry leadership for many years, Ken McGarity is most recently engaged as a Church Growth Consultant and Strategist, as well as Christian Leadership Coach to today’s up and coming Christian leaders.

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