To say Walt Disney accomplished a lot in his lifetime would be an understatement. His work has touched hundreds of millions of kids of all ages. He left a legacy of creativity, excellence and entertainment that has yet to be surpassed.
His work carries on, stronger than ever. Disney parks are the number one family vacation destination in the world.
He had to be a creative genius to accomplish so much, right? Yes, he was a creative genius, but that wasn't the biggest factor in his success. His best ability, that made him so successful, was being able to bring extremely talented and gifted people around him. He often attributed the success of Disney to the people on his team.
"The whole thing here is the organization. Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort."
Walt knew from the beginning, that he would never be able to accomplish his vision by himself. Iwork would have to become TEAMwork. He would have to build a team of people that were as passionate about the vision as he was.
He did just that. He communicated his vision so that people were inspired and motivated. Here's an example of what happened.
“Walt was determined to make the Hollywood venture an ever-growing success, and he was almost messianic in his leadership of his staff. The others responded by devoting most of their waking hours to the studio. Artists worked uncomplainingly on Saturdays and Sundays, and at night too; all were imbued with the crusade-like mission to make the first feature cartoon a success.”
Walt Disney, An American Original
Think about your ministry for a moment.
Are you trying to carry the vision alone?
Are you feeling overwhelmed because you're short on volunteers?
Are you working way too many hours because you're doing so much by yourself?
Do you hesitate to give work to someone else because they can't do it as well as you can?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, I have some good news for you. You don't have to carry the ministry by yourself.
You can move from Iwork to TEAMwork.
The first step is to clarify the vision. What is the vision for the ministry? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Is it contagious? Is it big enough to make people's heart beat faster?
Next invite people to the vision. Rather than inviting them to a position, invite them to the vision. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Ask them to join you in making the vision a reality. The vision is the why. Start there. Then move to the what. The what is the role they will step into to help make the why happen.
Start spending more time training others to do the ministry work than doing the ministry work yourself. Ephesians is very clear about this. Your role is to equip the people of God to do the work of the ministry. This doesn't mean you are lazy. What it does mean is that your focus, energy and passion should be helping volunteers be successful in their roles.
Let your Iwork be the things only you can do and the TEAMwork be things other people can do. Make a list of things that only you can do or should be focusing on. Someone (that's you) has to fly at 30,000 feet so you can see where the ministry needs to go, what's coming over the horizon, what obstacles need to be removed, etc.
If Walt had not gathered a team around him, there would probably not be any Disney Parks, movies, etc. It could only have been accomplished by TEAMwork.
Average leaders get a few things done through Iwork. Great leaders get tons of things done through TEAMwork.
If you are just starting out in children's ministry - remember this - the success of your ministry rises and falls on the strength of your volunteer team.
If you're a veteran, measure how much you're doing that someone else should be doing. Give it away.
If you want the ministry to go up, then you've got to give up as much of the Iwork as possible. This will enable you to build up the TEAMwork.
You can get more great ideas for your children's ministry from my book - If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry. It's available in both ebook and paperback formats.
You can also get more great ideas for building up your TEAMwork in my book - "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams." It's available in both ebook and paperback formats.
Your turn. What are your thoughts on building volunteer teams? What has helped you shift from Iwork to TEAMwork? Share your insight with us in the comment section below.