Rebuilding Your Team

There’s nothing more painful than losing your dream team…or even one dream player. From time to time, you will be faced with a key leader moving away or a right-hand man being moved up to help with a program for adults. It happens – our adult ministry steals our best people all of the time!

So when this happens – you have a few choices to make: (1) you can wallow in the golden years of what was, or (2) you can get to work on rebuilding a young team and see where God takes you. Honestly, you’ve probably done enough of (1) already, so let’s talk about (2). Here we go:

Don’t compare to the past
Rebuilding a team is difficult enough without making comparisons to the past. You are building a new team now – with different gifts, personalities and passions – embrace it instead of focusing on the frustrating differences.

Adjust your leadership to who you have now
The way you led last year probably isn’t going to work anymore. Different people need to be led differently – the pressure to adjust is on you, not on them. Consider giving everyone a personality test or the 5 Love Languages quiz to see what you’re working with and make a real effort to lead in a new way in the new season.

Become the world’s best coach
Maybe one of the reasons you’re lamenting the loss of your teammates is because you had a whole pack of seasoned, battle-hardened veterans and now you’ve got fresh meat. Become the world’s best coach! Constantly push, nudge and challenge your people in the right direction. Before you know it, they’ll be veterans as well…and prime pickings for adult ministry to swoop down for another batch (not that we’re bitter or anything).

Face the challenges head on
Need a pep talk? We got one: You can do this! Keep your head in the game! Don’t run from the challenge! Rebuilding a team is not an easy task. Hang in there! We know that God is going to use you in new ways in the next season.


Josh Griffin is the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and the author of 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers. He has served in youth ministry for 15 years.

Kurt Johnston has been involved in junior high ministry since 1988 and is currently the junior high pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He’s the author of Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry and Go Team! He loves providing resources for junior high ministry almost as much as he loves junior highers themselves.

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