A common mistake of many educational programs is that it rests upon a single person’s shoulders.  Maybe this is an education deacon, a minister’s wife, or a willing volunteer.  They often come in with such excitement and vigor only to run out of energy and ideas in a relatively short period.

Some of the best counsel I’ve received involves the four kinds of people we need to succeed. First, you need a model (no, not someone who graces the pages of a magazine) but someone who inspires you by their example. Secondly, you need a mentor who is available to coach you and help you achieve your goals. Thirdly, you need a partner.  A partner who shares the dream and works with you.  They serve as a great source of encouragement and support as you work to achieve your goals. Finally, you need a friend.  A friend loves you and prays for you as you walk together on a journey.  All four of these people are vital in aiding one through life and, in the context of this article, in your education ministry journey.  It takes hard work, long hours, and a great team to effectively and efficiently oversee an education ministry.

I love what Paul shares in 1 Corinthians 3:9,

“We work together as partners who belong to God.”

Paul also states in 1 Corinthians 12:27,

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

As members of the Lord’s body, God intends for us to work together to fulfill His mission of reaching the lost and strengthening the body.

It has also been said,

“If you want to go FAST, you run by yourself, but if you want to run FAR, run with others.  Who better to run with than a fellow believer in Christ!”

God’s Word is clear that we need a ministry team.  But why?

To Make Up for Our Weaknesses (Romans 1:12)

The Lord has blessed us with spiritual gifts to use as we minister to others.  However, no one is good at EVERYTHING.  Therefore, an area of weakness for one might be an area of strength for another.  For example, when we were working on redoing our Pre-K class curriculum, I quickly (and I mean very quickly) learned that I am not good at identifying and/or creating crafts to coincide with the lessons. Instead of becoming frustrated, I solicited the congregation for individuals who were “crafty” to help me with my weaknesses—the response was overwhelming and positive.  I had enough volunteers to take the 13-week curriculum and distribute it among teams of two.  Within two weeks, all the crafts were established, and many are still being utilized ten years later.

To Bring Out the Best in Everyone (Proverbs 27:17)

Anything/anyone which brings out the best in others is an absolute to be part of our ministry team.  They understand the importance of our ministry and the short time frame we have to impress faith on our Bible class students.  There is no room to take shortcuts as our ministry is time sensitive and of vital importance.

To Get More Done

We are constantly on the lookout for anything which will make our lives a bit easier so we can get more done. The Lord knew we needed each other to accomplish more.  “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Within our educational ministry, we always have at least two people working together to help share the load and it makes it more fun!  When I first arrived at Lewisville, many classes only had one coordinator and they struggled to get everything done.  By pairing up two and sometimes three people together, it has paid off huge dividends.

To Help Us When We Stumble

Life is often hard, and we are being pulled in many different directions at once. By developing the right team with the right focus, we can get some help in those tough times.  “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to life him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

To Resist Attacks and Criticism

We all try to do things the right way, but unfortunately, there will be times when someone gets upset with us. When we stand alone, we can become overwhelmed and highly discouraged when criticisms occur. The council is clear, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  The more people you have on your team, the easier it is to withstand the criticisms of others.

However, not everyone who is willing to be on your education team should be. I understand this may sound harsh, but I have found it true! You are looking for people with the right hearts, attitudes, and spirits as you serve together. I encourage you to look for people:

Who Genuinely Love and Serve God

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?  It is a sad reality that not everyone who worships with us is TRULY a follower of Christ.   They are the type of person who spends time in the Word and in prayer.  They are striving to grow as Jesus grew (Luke 2:52).

Committed to Growing in Character

It matters how someone thinks, feels, and behaves.  The Proverb writer said it best, “He was walks with integrity walks securely” (10:9).  Surrounding yourself with others who are high in Christian character matters because it is the spiritual foundation on which your ministry is built.  It branches into the well-being of others, and you strive to establish your ethical and moral standards in life.

Do Right Even When It Is Hard

As one studies the life of Jesus, one realizes that He did the will of the Father even when it was hard.  That stands as an example for us today.  There is no room for shortcuts within our education ministry or any other ministry of the church.  Our heavenly Father gave the best of heaven so we need to surround ourselves with people who will give the best of their time and talents!  Moses penned in Deuteronomy 12:28, “Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.”

Leaders who Take Bold Risks

Let’s be honest, we are constantly trying to determine what teaching tactics, curriculum, and activities will best reach those within the congregations in which we attend.  If we cease to strive to find new and more effective ways, we may fail to be effective in reaching the hearts of our students.

Following the assembly of your team, where are some practical suggestions to keep your team going for years and years of service.

  1. Nothing is a life-long commitment.
  2. Empower your people and delegate tasks.
  3. Be a leader and not a boss.
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate
  5. Meet with coordinators individually and collectively as needed.
  6. Constantly revisit the WHY and WHO of your ministry.

Realizing you are not able to lead your congregation’s education ministry alone and surrounding yourself with the right team will make a monumental difference in the overall health and direction in reaching those within your congregation.  Empowering your members to utilize their God-given talents and abilities is so rewarding and fun.  May the Lord bless each of us as we continue to serve Him and others!

Kevin Langford
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Kevin Langford has served as a minister of the gospel since 1998. Since April 2013, he has served with the Lewisville church of Christ in Lewisville, Texas, as the Worship and Education Minister. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian with a B.S. degree in Organizational Management and a degree in vocational ministry. 

Kevin has been married to his wife, Susan Langford (an instructional coach for Timberview Middle School in Keller ISD) since August 2003.  Kevin and Susan have two children: Connor and Kenzie

Kevin enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, football, preparing great food on his smoker, and supporting his family in all their various endeavors.