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Building a Great Team

Review of Building a Great Team, by Steve Case and Hubert Cisneros (2015).  Lincoln, NE:  AdventSource.

If you think back to how you began working with the youth at your church, whether as volunteer or employed as a pastor, you would have asked yourself, “How do I organize this youth group?” You may have looked up various resources and discovered that you need a team of leaders trained in meeting the specific needs (what are they?) of a youth ministry. Many scholarly and practical written works are available to use as resource material, but you may have wished, “It’d be great if someone put all of this information into a workbook that can be used as a lesson guide.”

Case and Cisneros have compiled just such a manual. Built as the next iteration in the process of building a youth ministry from the ground up, Building a Great Team, walks you through the process of gathering competent leaders to cover the most fundamental aspects of a youth ministry. Working through its chapters with your potential team will help form a good foundation for the beginnings of a healthy, future-proof youth group led through a team ministry. This is a far better prospect than the one-person show that would naturally evolve sans an intentional plan.

Building a Great Team continues from the foundation laid by the resource A Place to Belong, which strives to equip the youth worker to create a place of increasing intimacy, trust, and fellowship. The Building workbook looks at:

1) the defining characteristics of a competent leader
2) identifying the group’s purpose
3) enlisting the support of the pastor and board
4) drawing team members from the church
5) connecting with conference resources
6) activating the youth in the endeavor.

Each chapter’s approach is less didactic and more relational, practical, and interactive. For example, chapter 2, on defining purpose, outlines group activities to help your people take the things they love to do and distill how those activities can be translated into ways they serve the community.
Case and Cisneros have included simple but practical worksheets and charts that guide the participants through processes that would otherwise overwhelm the novice youth worker. Further, the clearly defined goals and built-in accountability give the startup youth group a great advantage for long-term success.

Building a Great Team provides a nice framework for starting a youth group. If your youth group is already running, this resource may lack the depth necessary to help move to the next level. Still, when used as a training material for future leaders or as an assessment tool to evaluate your group, Building a Great Team can be a worthwhile ministry resource for both the established or aspiring youth groups.

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