The Weakest Link That's Hurting Your Ministry

Your ministry has a weak link.  Every ministry does.  Perhaps it's the person who is always late.  Perhaps it's the person who shows up unprepared to teach the lesson.  Perhaps it's the praise team member who has little to no enthusiasm.  Perhaps it's the greeter who doesn't smile.  Perhaps it's the person who is gossiping and causing conflict.  Perhaps it's the nursery volunteer who is short with parents.

Here's what you have to remember.  Your team is only as strong as the weakest link.  And the weakest link can have a negative impact on the rest of the team.

Let's talk about what you can do to strengthen the weakest link in your ministry. 

Don't ignore it.  If you don't like conflict or you don't have a plan for helping people grow in their role, then you may try ignoring it and hope it will go away.  That may seem like the easiest route, but don't take it.  It will hurt the ministry if you do.  And by the way, the rest of the team is watching to see how you will deal with the weakest link.  If you ignore it, they may lose respect for you. 

Offer feedback.  The person may not be self-aware and has no clue about the damage they are causing to the team.  As the "coach" of the team, you have a responsibility to help equip the person and see them improve.

You can get some great tips in this article about the best way to give feedback to the weakest link. 

Offer training.  The weakest link may just need more training for their role.  We can't blame someone for being the weakest link, if we haven't offered the training they need to be successful in the role.  Come alongside the person and offer specific training.  Often this will be simple, hands on training. 

If it is not a training issue, but an attitude issue, then your approach needs to address that.  If you're not good at those type of conversations, then use this proven formula.  It will give you confidence when you walk into a conversation because you know what you're going to say ahead of time.

State the FACT.  How is the person hurting the team?
State how it is making people FEEL.
Share what you'd like to see in the FUTURE. 

Offer mentor ship.  Consider pairing the person with a seasoned team member who can help coach them in their role and be a mentor for them. 

Make sure they are in their sweet spot.  If the role you have placed the person in does not line up with their personality, spiritual gifts and strengths, then consider moving them to a more appropriate position.  This can be avoided as well up front by helping them find their sweet spot.  You can get tips on helping people find their sweet spot in my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams."

If it is hurting the team significantly, you may need to ask the person to step down from their role.  You must protect the unity of the team.  And if the person, who is the weakest length, is causing ongoing disunity by his or her attitude, then you should ask them to step down from their role. 

Those type of conversations are never easy, but at times they are necessary, if you want to move the ministry forward.  Sometimes you can see a weak link turn into a strong link. 

Great children's ministries are built by great volunteers, linked together to reach next generation.