The 6 “E’s” of Building a Team from Scratch

May 1, 2015 — Leave a comment


I  was honored with the opportunity to partner with Geoff Surratt for a couple of workshops yesterday at the 2015 Orange Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

I was asked to share my notes from our breakout, “Building a Team from Scratch.” 

I’m proud of the team we’ve built at Journey Christian Church. When I came to Journey seven years ago, we only had a three full-time staff members. Now we’re blessed to have a much larger staff, which grows every year. I’ve either hired or supervised the hiring of all of our current staff–full and part time. Through this experience and over the past twenty plus years of ministry, I’ve learned a lot about building a team from scratch. I’ve arranged them in 6 E’s.

Here you go:

6 E’s of Building a Team from Scratch


1) Go after people you know.

2) Go after people you like

3) Go after winners (not just someone looking for a job).

4) Go after a good fit for YOU & your team.

The DISC Personality test is a great tool for assessing potential staff members and for assessing their compatability with you and your team.

5) Go after special generalists. (not necessarily the perfect fit for the job, but the perfect fit for the team). 

6) Go after team players.

or 7) Raise up all of the above.

When it comes to enlistment, we invest a lot of time in working to ensure that new team members fit our culture.

Here are a few distinctives of our culture:

1) All leaders are to reproduce themselves.

2) You don’t have to earn trust, you arrive with it.

3) We are not a policy driven church.

4) We eat with sinners.

5) Enjoy the journey, but don’t enjoy it alone.

6) Your first ministry is to your family.

7) Failure is not the unpardonable sin.

8) We don’t do micromanagement.


It’s not all about money, it’s also about vision.

Six of our staff members are part-time and we are blessed with a lot of great volunteers.

Legend has it that Shackleton posted an advertisement in a London paper, stating: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” Shackleton received more than 5,000 applications for places on the expedition. 

Why? Vision is powerful. So many people are longing for so much more. Don’t just hire people. Call people to join you on an important mission.

The vision…

1) Must be clear

2) Must be compelling

3) Must be communicated

4) Must be a committment.


1) Tools

2) Training

3) Team Members 

Do what you can to give your team members the staff and volunteers they need to do what God has called them to do.

4) Time to Try

It’s important to give your team opportunities to use the tools they have and the tools you’ve given them.


1) With resources

2) With information (about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how what’s happening will help us to fulfill God’s plan for us.)

3) With opportunities.

4) With authority

5) With rest (We give our full-time staff a sabbattical day each month.)


There’s nothing worse than having all responsibility but no authority. Give your team the responsibility AND the authority to do their job and then trust them to get it done.

Trusting is easier for all involved when you…

1) Tell them what you want them to do.

2) Equip them to do what you want them to do.

3) Release them to do what you want them to do.

4) Support them as they do what you want them to do.


I’ve found the best encouragements are specific. (eg. “Great job yesterday! is not a meaningful as “Great job with your lesson yesterday morning. It was well-prepared and very impactful.”)

1) Write it.

2) Speak it privately.

3) Speak it publically.

4) Invest in it (bonuses, meals out, days off, etc.)

©2015 Arron Chambers


No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s