Chapter 5
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Developing team members

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Aling Soring was 62 years old, with seven grandchildren. We approached her about the possibility of joining our church planting team.

"Ako? Plant a church? Matanda na ako, e. Hindi yata ako bagay sa ganoon."

"We'll show you what to do, Aling Soring. And we'll be there with you, for as long as you need us."

With great reservations, Aling Soring agreed. She was very faithful. Slowly but surely, she developed into a fruitful OBS (Outreach Bible Study) leader. Her contribution was vital to the church that was planted.

Isang araw, after the church was established, lumapit si Aling Soring sa akin.

"Pastor Dave, church planter na pala ako!" sabi ni Aling Soring, napakalaki ng kanyang ngiti.

"Oo nga, Aling Soring. Church planter na po kayo talaga."

Recruiting team members is only the beginning. Now we need to focus on seeing them become productive workers. How can we do this? The following can help contribute to the development of team members.

• Train team members in ministry skills

• Help your team to continue to grow in their spiritual lives

• Build strong relationships

• Recommend resources

• Pray for team members

• Encourage team members

• Lead team development meetings

Train team members in ministry skills

Some of the OBS leaders you have recruited may already have experience and are effective. You can mobilize them immediately to train potential leaders while they lead their OBSes. Others may not know how to lead an OBS, but have the potential to learn. They can join the team as apprentice OBS leaders. Mobilize experienced OBS leaders to train apprentice-leaders using on-the-job training.

The apostle Paul did not stay long in Thessalonica. In his short time there he planted a healthy church. He did it by developing leaders. If we carefully read 1 Thessalonians, maraming mapupulot about how he did this.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 we see that Paul modeled ministry skills.

& You became imitators of us … And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

We can also model ministry skills to apprentice OBS leaders and others whom we train through on-the-job training. Whenever possible, train two apprentices at once to produce double the fruit. Here's how:

On-the-job training

1. You lead the OBS. Your apprentices observe.

2. You lead the OBS. Your apprentices help.

3. Your apprentices lead the OBS. You help.

4. Your apprentices lead the OBS. You observe.

5. Your apprentices lead the OBS. New apprentices observe.1

Let's look at the details of how to do on-the-job training.

1. You lead the OBS. Your apprentices observe.

Before the OBS, meet with your apprentices. Explain to them what you will do at the OBS. Explain only as much as they are able to receive. Don't overwhelm them.

Make sure to keep everything in the OBS simple. Your apprentices should be able to imitate everything that you do.

At the OBS, you do all the leading. Your apprentices just observe.

After the OBS, review everything that you did with your apprentices. The key phrase for you to use is, "Did you notice …?"

• "Did you notice the way I handled Tony's question when he asked me if there really was a garden of Eden?"

• "Did you notice how I had Fred read for Mang Ben, because his eyes are weak?"

• "Did you notice the way I helped Mang Badong find the spiritual blessings in the verses?"

This debriefing right after the OBS is great training for your apprentices!

2. You lead the OBS. Your apprentices help.

When your apprentices are ready, ask them to lead part of the next OBS. Ask them to lead the discussion for just one verse each. This makes it easy for them to start.

Choose the easiest verses for them. At the next OBS, when you get to these verses, they will lead. After that, you will take over again.

Continue to meet before the OBS to explain to them what you will be doing. They will also review with you how they will lead the discussion of their one verse. Do this to make sure they have prepared.

After the OBS meet with your apprentices again to evaluate. Tell them everything they did well. Encourage them. This will reinforce the good things that they did. When you do this, it's likely they will do these good things again.

Then, give them just one suggestion for improvement. Just one, ha? They will probably make plenty of mistakes. Don't point all of them out yet. This could discourage them. Make this evaluation an uplifting time. Little by little, your apprentices will improve.

Kuya Nanding did well the first time he led part of an OBS. In our evaluation I told him, "Kuya Nanding, it's good that you let Ate Tes make her own discoveries in verse 9. You didn't just tell her the answer. Your explanation was very clear. Magaling ang iyong mga illustrations tungkol sa good works. You were very well prepared. You really emphasized what a big mistake it is to trust in good works. You kept things moving at a good pace."

"Salamat, Dave," he responded, smiling happily.

"I noticed one thing you might do to make the OBS even better next time," I added. "Next time, you might want to try and look up at the people in the OBS, rather than always looking down at your Bible while you talk."

"Okay. Salamat, Dave," he answered happily still.

At the next OBS, Kuya Nanding made very good eye contact with everyone.

Evaluation is the most valuable contribution you can make in the development of your apprentices.

I also applied this process to train Virgie. After our evaluation she said, "Kuya Dave, could I lead the OBS for more than one verse next week?"

Before that, Virgie was afraid to lead. After getting started on just one verse, she wanted more!

When I was training Ate Femy, I had a little bit of a hard time. Before the OBS, we reviewed the part of the discussion, which she would be leading. She was well prepared. Kaya lang, when we got to the OBS, she got very nervous. When it came time for her to lead, her hands were shaking and her voice was quivering. Rather than asking the discussion question that we had reviewed together, she repeatedly asked, "Anong gusto ng Diyos? Anong gusto ng Diyos? Anong gusto ng Diyos?" Somehow, the OBS contacts found responses to give. I helped Ate Femy make it through the OBS.

After the OBS, it came time for our evaluation. I knew that it was now the time to tell Ate Femy everything good that she did. Kaya lang, I couldn't think of anything! I thought harder, and told her, "Ate Femy, maganda ang sapatos mo. Maganda rin ang damit mo. And Ate Femy, it's good that you brought your Bible to the OBS."

On suggestions for improvement, I had plenty of ideas. She did everything wrong! But my only suggestion was, "Ate Femy, next time, maybe you could use the discussion question that we prepared."

"O, sige po, Pastor Dave," she replied. At the next OBS she did it. She did much better. At every OBS she steadily improved. Soon, she became a fantastic OBS leader! Lots of encouragement and just one suggestion for improvement helped her to develop.

After each OBS, continue to review the part of the OBS that you led also. Keep using the "Did you notice …?" technique.

Give your apprentices their assignment to prepare for next week's OBS. Give them as many verses as you think they can comfortably handle. Keep adding gradually.

DON'T limit your apprentices to just leading the opening or closing prayer or giving a testimony. DO let them lead part of the actual Bible study. This will really help their development.

3. Your apprentices lead the OBS. You help.

Now your apprentices will lead most of the OBS. Continue to decrease your part. Continue to meet with them after the OBS to evaluate.

4. Your apprentices lead the OBS. You observe.

Now your apprentices will lead the whole OBS. Pray silently for them as they lead. Keep encouraging them. Keep meeting with them before and after the OBS.

I continued to give Kuya Nanding one suggestion for improvement each week. After a few weeks, I didn't have anymore suggestions!

"Kuya Nanding, wala na akong masabi. Ang galing mo na talaga. Gradyuate ka na," I said.

"Salamat, Dave," he responded, with his biggest smile yet.

5. Your apprentices lead the OBS. New apprentices observe.

Your involvement with your apprentices isn't over yet. Make sure they recruit someone now to observe them as their apprentice-leaders. This fifth step is crucial for multiplication of leaders. Don't skip this!

Kuya Nanding could now handle the OBS on his own. I left him and opened a new OBS. Leaders were multiplied!

Kuya Nanding recruited Sammy to come and observe as he led the OBS. He was now the leader and Sammy was his new apprentice! My other apprentice, Kuya Tony, recruited Ate Ellen. This type of on-the-job training is very effective.

Sammy was part of the fruit of one of our OBSes. This is the best place to find new apprentice-leaders!

How long will this type of training take? It depends on your apprentice. Some will learn in a few weeks. Others might take a few months. It also greatly depends on the methods you use in your Bible studies. More new leaders can be trained and mobilized far more rapidly by using simple methods that are easily reproducible. But whether your apprentice develops quickly or slowly, the important thing is to keep multiplying leaders.

These five steps of on-the-job training not only work to train new OBS leaders. You can also use these steps for any ministry in the church!

Help your team to continue to grow in their spiritual lives

It's crucial that team members develop ministry skills. But this is not all they need. It's just as crucial that they also continue to grow in their spiritual lives.

We cannot just assume this will take place. Kailangan nating tutukan sila.

This was the concern of the apostle Paul regarding those he was developing in Thessalonica.

& Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.

(1 Thess. 3:10)

His concern mentioned here was not for their ministry skills. It was their faith—their spiritual lives.

To help team members to continue to develop in their spiritual lives, it's helpful to first see what God has used in our own spiritual development.

• "Scripture memory has played a big part in my spiritual growth." (Zeny)

• "I continue to grow by reading through the Bible every year." (Connie)

• "God got me off to the right start through one-on-one discipleship." (Charlie)

• "I start off every day by reading a Psalm and using it as a guide to worship the Lord." (Eric)

When we identify what God has especially used in our lives, we can share that with those we want to see develop. This is especially powerful because it's real to us. It's not just an idea or something we have read.

What has God used in your life? You can impart this to your teammates!

Spiritual development is a lifelong process. Tutukan natin in the lives of our team.

Build strong relationships

We can best help our team members develop ministry skills and their spiritual lives through loving relationships. Yes, we will serve together. We also need to minister to one another. Informal times of fellowship together are also important. If relationships are weak, team members may feel they are just being used.

Paul had a strong, loving relationship with those whom he reached in Thessalonica.

& We were … like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1 Thess. 2:7-8)

These Thessalonians then began planting churches in Macedonia and Achaia and beyond (1 Thess. 1:7-8). I'm sure Paul rejoiced in more church planting! At the same time, his concern for them mismo continued.

& Brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again.

(1 Thess. 2:17-18)

The members of these church planting teams clearly knew how important they were to Paul!

I too, need to be careful. I confess, when I see a member of our team, usually the first question that comes to my mind is "Kumusta ang OBS mo?" But I stop myself. I always try to make sure that my first question is "Kumusta ka?"

As we show genuine love to our team, the day may come when they will give a serious answer to "Kumusta ka?" Many team members will pour out their hearts once they know you truly care. There have been seasons when I have spent more time ministering to teammates than to those we were trying to reach. This is often a vital part of mobilizing a team.

My most rewarding relationships, outside of my family, have been with fellow workers with whom I have served. This can be your experience too!

Recommend resources

Paul provided the Thessalonians with resources as he continued to develop them as leaders. When he was not able to go to them personally, he sent Timothy. Timothy was a resource.

& So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the Gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.

(1 Thess. 3:1-2)

The Lord has blessed me with some good books. I love to loan these books out to those with whom I am working. These resources are a big help in their development.

As you work with your church planting team, try to provide resources for them that will contribute to their development. You might be thinking, "Mabuti ka pa, Dave. Marami kang books. Ako, wala."

There are also other types of resources. How about

• a seminar you could recommend

• a teaching tape that's been helpful to you

• a praise and worship tape that's really ministered to you

• a passage of scripture

• a good Christian radio or TV program

• a person they could talk to and get advice from

Providing good resources is a great way to accelerate the development of your church planting team.

Pray for team members

I'll confess, I don't pray for every contact in our target barangay every day. But I make sure I pray daily for every member of our team.

Paul was faithful in his prayers for the Thessalonians as they planted churches.

& We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you always in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope.

(1 Thess. 1:2-3)

Paul not only prayed for them. He also told them that he was praying for them. He even went on to tell them what he was praying.

We can follow Paul's example. We also can pray for our team, and tell them what we are praying.

"Kuya Nanding, I've been praying that the Lord would strengthen your son, Louie, in his spiritual life. I've also been praying for your wife, Ate Carmen, that she would have a deeper understanding of her position in Christ. I'm praying that the Lord will powerfully use you as an OBS leader, and that one day, you'll be a preacher." I would tell Kuya Nanding something like this every week.

"Maraming salamat, Dave," he always replied, with a big smile.

I usually pray three things for teammates:

• For the development of their ministry skills

• For their spiritual lives

• For their problems

Teammates have often shared problems with me because we have developed a good relationship.

The greatest thing we can do in mobilizing a team is to faithfully pray for our team members.

Encourage team members

Look at the different ways Paul encouraged the Thessalonians:

He told them of his continual prayers.

& We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. (1 Thess. 1:2)

He commended them for sharing the Gospel.

& The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (1 Thess. 1:8)

He told them they were his joy.

& For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

(1 Thess. 2:19-20)

& How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

(1 Thess. 3:9)

These are powerful words of encouragement! We also need to encourage the members of our church planting team. Point out progress you see in their ministry skills. Mention qualities in their spiritual lives that you appreciate. Tell them frequently that you are glad they are on the team!

"Kuya Nanding, tuwang-tuwa ako na magkasama tayo." I told him this many times.

Lead team development meetings

We have looked at several productive steps we can take to help in the development of our team members. We can do most of these things one-on-one. An even more efficient method is to minister to the whole team nang sabay. We can do this in team development meetings. These meetings have the additional dynamic of team members interacting with and ministering to each other, which helps deepen team relationships. Team meetings can be a powerful tool for leadership development.

There are many different things that we can do in these development meetings. Of all the possibilities, there are four items that should take place at every meeting.

1. Skills training

Teach your team whatever skills they need, at that time, to fulfill their role. Some possibilities are:

• How to conduct a community survey

• How to do evangelistic prayer visitation

• How to distribute tracts

• How to lead an Outreach Bible Study

• How to lead others to Christ

• How to pray for the sick

• Etc.

After teaching these skills in team meetings, help team members to implement these immediately by using on-the-job training (see p. 77). Anything taught to trainees too early may not be fully appreciated. Worse yet, they may forget what we've taught them! Teaching ministry skills, right at the time they are needed, and combining this with on-the-job training, is a very powerful training method. By doing this, team members internalize valuable ministry skills, which they can use for the rest of their lives.

2. Encouragement

Nakakapagod ang church planting. It calls for sacrifice. Team members need encouragement! Do this by reviewing progress in the ministry and in their skills development. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Give words of affirmation. Share edifying thoughts from the Word of God. Be generous with encouragement!

3. Vision

After reviewing progress, impart vision for the further progress which you foresee. Be clear about the direction in which the project is heading. Describe what you foresee for both the near and distant future. Imparting vision helps sustain motivation to continue to make sacrifices.

4. Prayer

Always give a large block of time to prayer. Hindi puwedeng maiksing opening and closing prayer lang. Pray through all upcoming ministry plans, for everyone in all OBSes and for the fulfillment of your vision!

I like to have team meetings every week. We always have our meetings right before we go to our OBSes. If this is too heavy on your schedule, you could meet every other week, or even just once per month.

In some teams, members quickly lose motivation and drop out. This rarely happens in teams that practice what we have discussed in this chapter. These steps will not only help maintain faithfulness in team members. More importantly, we can contribute greatly to the progress of valuable workers who will continue to serve the Lord for the rest of their lives.

Who leads the team?

You will need to make it very clear who has ultimate responsibility for recruiting, developing and leading the church planting team. It's best if this is one person, although this person can draw on the help of others, possibly including the pastor or members of the Outreach Committee. Here are some options.

1. Fulltime church planter

If there is a fulltime church planter, maaaring ito ang papel niya.

2. Team member

One of the volunteer team members can also serve in this way.

3. The pastor

The pastor could be very actively involved in the church plant, including holding OBSes, training OBS leaders and leading the team. Or, he could provide leadership to the team, but only go out occasionally to the target barangay. If he is the team leader, he will have to go frequently enough to make sure that effective on-the-job training of OBS leaders is taking place.

4. Member from the outreach committee

A member of this committee could also be an active member of the church planting team and serve as the team leader. Or, like the pastor, he could provide leadership to the team, but not always go to the target barangay. As with the pastor, he will need to be on site frequently enough to make sure that healthy development of OBS leaders is taking place through on-the-job training.

If your church believes in the function of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers, and if you have access to any of these, you could use them to help in training your team. Their function is clearly to equip members to serve, 'di ba?

& It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service.

(Eph. 4:11-12)

Use them to help in training.

Those who are capable, in any area of ministry, should always be training others.

& The things you have heard me say … entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

Ongoing multiplication of all workers

The laborers are few. There is much to be done. All workers, at all levels, can multiply themselves using the five steps of on-the-job training (see p. 77). Every worker should have an apprentice.

• Ushers can train apprentice-ushers

• Musicians can train apprentice-musicians

• Children's teachers can train apprentice children's teachers

• Cell group leaders can train apprentice cell group leaders

• Intercessors can train apprentice-intercessors

• Church planters can train apprentice church planters

• Pastors can train apprentice-pastors

• Seminar speakers can train apprentice seminar speakers

• Denominational leaders can train apprentice denominational leaders

This will enlarge our capacity to take in more fruit!

We have spent a long time discussing how to develop a team. Some church planters prefer to plant their church on their own. "Malaking abala ang team," sabi ng iba. "Ako na lang."

Yes, they can plant a church this way. But it will be small and hindered in its growth. These church planters will soon be loaded down doing all the ministry themselves. Their church plant will only grow equal to the amount of ministry that they can handle. Some will eventually get wise and also mobilize others to do the ministry. When they do this, growth can begin.

It's far better to start out right. Mobilize a team right from the start. Church planters who focus on mobilizing others to do the ministry have unlimited potential. This is a key to rapid church multiplication.

Parable of the atis

Brother Oscar Outreach and Brother Carlos Church Planter both like to eat atis. They both have an atis tree in their bakuran.

Year after year, Brother Oscar picked the fruit and ate them. Brother Carlos not only picked the fruit. He also kept some of the seeds and planted them. After a few years, his bukid was full of fruit-bearing atis trees. The fruit multiplied greatly!

Merely doing ministry is like picking an atis and eating it. Yes, fruit is produced. But there's no multiplication without planting the seeds.

Training apprentice-leaders is like planting atis seeds. These seeds grow and produce fruit of their own. The amount of fruit that is ultimately produced is greatly multiplied.

Planting seeds yields far more fruit than just merely picking fruit. Brother Carlos now has many times more fruit than Brother Oscar.

Fortunately, we can do both! We can do ministry and at the same time train others. This multiplies our fruit!

We find atis seeds right within the fruit of the atis. We also find new apprentice-leaders right within the fruit of our ministry—in the harvest! As soon as possible, recruit the new believers from your church plant as apprentice-leaders. Mobilize them where they are best suited. This is a big key to reaping a greater harvest!

Action planning and discussion

1. In what ministries in your church could you use on-the-job training to develop new leaders?

2. What has God especially used in your own life to help you grow spiritually? Can you impart this to others?

3. What are some good resources you are aware of that you could share with those with whom you are working?

4. Has anyone ever told you that they were praying for you? How did that make you feel?

5. Who can help to train your church planting team?

6. What are some of the most important things about mobilizing a team that God has shown you from this chapter?

The main thing to do now

q Memorize the five steps of on-the-job training.

q Begin using these steps to impart ministry skills to your team.

Overview of Step Three

Planting a church is a big job. There are so many things to do! Where do we start? It can help tremendously if we have a plan, showing what we need to do step by step.

To begin to plan, it's important to clarify exactly what it is we hope to accomplish. To do this, we can write a goal. Having a clear goal helps to give clear direction. We'll cover how to do this in Chapter 6.

One of the things we will state in our goal is where we will plant the church. This is a very important decision. All of Chapter 7 is about this.

Once we've written our goal, including our target barangay, we will list the action steps we will take to achieve this goal. Listing these steps in a logical sequence will help the project go more smoothly and efficiently. We'll cover how to do this in Chapter 8.

It will probably cost money to implement your plan. We'll see several possible sources of funds in Chapter 9.

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This page was last updated on 15 July 2013.