3 Ways to Make You, Your Staff, and Your Team More Effective

We ministers always tend to think outwardly. We want to serve our youth, our parish, our community.

There needs to be times that we look inwardly. Do we know our gifts and use them? Do we look at our staff and recognize the gifts other bring to the team and maximize our ministries with a team approach?

August and September kick off a new year for many of us. Let’s take some time to look inward, reflect on ourselves, our staff and our team and resolve in this new year to make some changes.

1. Discover Your Strengths

There are many ways to do this that work very well in the professional world. Think motivational speakers, executive coaches and programs that allow us to process our strengths. There’s one particular process that I like because it focuses on the positive and enhancing those positives in your work and life is CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder).

It’s a small cost to assess your top five strengths and how they can be applied to your work and person life. It’s a very uplifting process that helps you be good at what you already are good at. Doesn’t it make more sense to take what you are good at and work on them to make them great instead of taking the areas in which you are weak and making them OK?

2. Answer Your Call and Charisms

Our Catholic learning community is growing more and more to help parish staffs, departments and ministry teams build on their talents. And more importantly, there is a process that hones in on what God has put in you as a charism. It’s that gift that God has given you, and when you use it, people draw closer to the Lord.

Called and Gifted comes from the Catherine of Siena Institute and takes you through a discernment process to discover your charisms. It’s a great personal inspiration, but also could be used with staff, council, committee, ministry teams or a group of parishioners. Your diocese may have a team to lead the discernment (our Christian formation staff just recently went to a workshop.) The institute could also put on a workshop or train leaders and teachers to help others find their charisms. Once you have those, you can use them to make your staff, office or team shine with the light of Christ.

It’s an awesome and holy process that could change your parish community.

3. Low Rent but Effective Team Building

Go find a putt-putt golf course for your ministry team to compete in a tournament. Pull out the corn hole boards to play at lunch with the staff. Or go to a midday baseball game with your committee.

Get some time away from the craziness of planning, visioning and executing ministry events. Your ministry may be the best stuff that happens and is a lot of fun to plan, but you need to step away from the church building every now and again. And you need to keep in touch personally and socially with your co-workers in the vineyard – and remember the paid AND the unpaid co-workers.

Join a fall volleyball league together or go have a beverage at a biergarten near you.

The new year is a wonderful time to make some resolutions to do things better in your ministry and parish.
Take the time take a look at yourself, your staff and your parish to see what’s going well and keep building the kingdom.

Bryan Ramsey

Bryan Ramsey is the director of youth ministry at St. James in Menomonee Falls, WI. Besides Christian formation for some 400 middle and high schoolers, there's youth group activities, inter-generational programs, retreats, service experiences, prayer nights, mission trips, conferences, fundraisers and plenty of other good things jammed into his ministry life. Plus, he is a youth minister's husband and 5-kid father. There's a lot going on there.

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