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4 Tips to Start a Team from Scratch

Apr 19 2016

In the development of your church, it’s almost certain that at one point, you will have to start a team of volunteers completely from scratch. Depending on the need of your church at that specific time, it could be a welcome team, a setup team, a new Christians team, or any other team across the breadth of church life.

Creating a team completely from the ground up requires a lot of work to be done, but the journey to developing a strong and healthy team is also rewarding.

Here are four tips on how to start building and growing a team from scratch:

1. Invite people into your team

It’s important to understand that people want to make a contribution and be part of a team. We don’t have to trick or manipulate people in getting them to join a team – people genuinely want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves.

Our responsibility as leaders, therefore, is being able to communicate the heart and the vision of the team effectively. People are attracted to strong vision, and this will cause them to invest themselves fully heart and soul.

2. Trust your team

When you’re building a team from scratch, create a culture of trust – a culture where your team trusts you and where you trust your team. As a leader, especially when first starting off, trusting your team will be one of your biggest challenges.

The reality is that people are going to disappoint you, and they’re going to make wrong decisions, and you’ll find that you’ll have to troubleshoot on the spot a lot of the time. But this is all part of the discipleship journey for the people in your team. As a leader, encourage and exemplify excellence, but also create a safe space for your team to fail and make mistakes so that they can learn.

3. Train your team

One of the best ways to train your team is actually doing the journey alongside them. Don’t just hand things off to your team, but handhold them throughout the process. Don’t just dump tasks on your team, but walk it through with them. Delegation is key. However, delegation is not simply dumping tasks, but it’s actually empowering your team to grow in their capacity and in their leadership.

Build relationships with your team and continually invest into them. Meet regularly with them, and not just on Sundays when they’re serving.

4. Identify leaders

Don’t carry the load on your own. Look for potential leaders and develop them to help move the team forward. Leaders will always stand out.

Look for those who have a heart for the house and a passion to serve. Look for those who are willing to serve even if it’s outside their gifting or what they feel “called” to do. Ultimately, look for those who are faithful, available, reliable and teachable.

Building a team from scratch is a great way to your grow yourself as a leader and to help others in their discipleship journey. There will be challenges along the way, but keep putting in the hard work and see the people in your team grow and see your church move forward.


This thought was originally shared during a webinar on Team Building by our Hillsong New York team during ‘Online Open Week’ in February 2016. Online Open Week is your opportunity to receive impartation and training direct from the Hillsong team through live webinars.

If you would like to watch the full recording or find out more about future events from the Hillsong Leadership Network, click below.