No children’s pastor can manage large projects alone without burning out. The most effective project management resource a children’s pastor has is teamwork.
Teamwork is vital for large projects. But if it isn’t done right, it frustrates everyone involved. Here’s some ways to use teamwork effectively.
1. Have a dream team meeting. In the initial planning stages of a project, bring in a dream team. To start the meeting off, tell the team your focus for the event and give them permission to throw out ideas. Let them know, although all the ideas won’t be used, this is a chance to dream big. No idea is a bad one. This isn’t the time to talk about practicality or money limitations. That comes at a later meeting.
2. Your second meeting is to plan the big picture: goals, timeline, stations. During this meeting, break the project into manageable stations, and give one station to each team member.
For instance, if you’re planning VBS, you might have a game station, a craft station, a station for snacks, follow-up, decorations, etc. The more team leader you have, the more stations you can have. If you have a smaller team, you might need to give more than one station to each team leader.
During this meeting, give each leader a timeline for when you need certain things done. Also give each team leader permission to assemble his own team. Let the team leaders know what resources they have available.
3. Have regular meetings where the team leaders will give reports on their progress. These are the times where you work out problems that may arise and make sure everyone is on task.
4. Resist the urge to take over when a team leader isn’t following through or doing things the way you like. If you take over, the team leader will back off and let you do it. Instead, give the team leader suggestions on how to solve any problems.
If a team leader isn’t doing the job, you may have to sit down with him and talk about what the problem is. It may be something easily solvable, or the team leader might won’t to back out. But this is a last resort. Don’t become a micro-manager.
5. Have a follow-up meeting. After the event, have a meeting to discuss what went right and what went wrong. The idea of this meeting is to take notes on how to improve the event in the future.
6. Lavish praise. Make sure each team leader knows how much you appreciate him and the job he did, both publicly and privately.