Introduction to
Children's Ministry Guide to
Building a Team

by Andy Back

Published in June by Children's Ministry, 2003
You can buy this book by clicking here

'And it's Ryan Giggs on the ball now for Manchester United,' cries the commentator.

'Just one minute of time added on left to play, and the scores are level. Giggs takes it from his own goalkeeper with a flick of the ankle, and dribbles the ball forward. He's drifting a little to the favoured left wing now. He's run by some of his team-mates, and he's approaching the opposition winger. He's passed him and cuts slightly inside as he maintains possession for Manchester United. He's across the half-way line now, and the Chelsea players are queueing up to tackle him.

' But Giggs skips past one, and nutmegs another as he brings the ball expertly towards the edge of the penalty area. He looks up briefly and sets himself for a shot. But in comes a fullback with a tackle… but Giggs has sidefooted the ball out of harm's way and steadies himself again. He draws back his left foot and slams the leather into the net, leaving the Chelsea goalkeeper floundering! That's the winning goal! What a wonderful solo effort from Ryan Giggs! That's the Individual Goal of the Season for sure!'

We all thrill to see someone who has the skill to do everything themselves and to make the difference between an average result and a truly great or memorable one.
But in sport, and even with the undisputed skills of Giggs, it's much more usual to see the ball move from player to player. It is released by the goalie to the backs, up to the midfield and then passed expertly onto the foot or head of a striker, who then applies the finish to score the goal. After all, it's a team game and is designed to be played that way.

And that, my friends, is the first and last of the sport analogies that you'll find in this book (except for a very brief paragraph towards the middle of chapter seven, which is preceded by an appropriate warning).

Serving God together is all about teamwork as well. Jesus recruited the disciples so that they could learn to work as a team. Moses recruited a team and learned to delegate. King David gathered a team of mighty men, and then made famous mistakes. And we need each other in order to serve the children in our care.

Here are some of my greatest foul-ups, lessons learned the hard way, mistakes, errors and tiny successes along the journey. I have benefitted from great leaders and from wonderful volunteers. The children and young people have been served well, and the Kingdom of God has been brought into many lives. May your stories contain fewer bumps and bruises, and much, much more glory.

© 2003 Children's Ministry