New Teams Guides
New Teams' Guides
Each new team can greatly benefit from having someone guide them. That person will know many of the answers the new team is wanting to know. They will also know where to find the answers they don't know. (None of that is an alternative to praying and asking God to speak about many things.)
The guide may be a member of the National Leadership Team, they may be someone from another new team/small team/urban team. They may also be a member of the sending community. They are unlikely to be outside YWAM. Even ex-YWAMers are unlikely to have the ongoing links within YWAM, nor the available time to be of help.
In practice it is clear that the new team/new team leaders will want different amounts of support at different stages in the development of the team. At the early stages of thinking and praying through the team it will take some time. Preparing the team to go may take a bit more. It seems that a visit or positive connection of some sort every 4 - 6 weeks in the early months and years(?) may be about right. Every team of course is different so there should be no rule and only a loose guideline here. As with mentoring, the sooner the team leaders are competent and no longer dependent on the guide the better.
Jesus told His followers a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:39, 40
Some Qualities of Guides
- Availability. No amount of ability and wisdom and knowledge is any use at all if they aren't free to spend time, a lot of time.
- Listens very well - no, they should listen and listen and listen. The job is to listen and reflect. When the guide doesn't listen but just tells the team leader what to do, the team leader doesn't need to take their responsibility seriously.
- Reluctance to answer questions. Most of the time the team leader doesn't need answers, they need someone they trust to listen to them and tell them they're doing a great job. Leading a team isn't rocket science, there isn't a great deal more complicated to do than what most people have to deal with. So, the guide must be reluctant to encourage dependence on themselves.
- Encourager. The guide needs to be positive and believe in the team and its leaders.
- Experienced. The guide needs to have some past experience. There are a lot of people who would like to do this job but they don't have enough experience to offer. It isn't a job that should be taken lightly, not should it be a job to consider simply because it is appealing. The guide must know a thing or two about starting teams.
- Connected. Given that the guide should be slow to answer the team leaders' questions, they should know where the team can turn to get answers. That might be in recruiting new team members, fundraising, developing a prayer strategy, in fact anything on the list of skills and qualities needed to start a new team.
- Prayerful. If the guide is committed to the team's fruitfulness they will pray.
- Generous. It costs a lot to visit teams, buy coffee, meals etc. Guides shouldn't be a financial burden on the team. Each National Leadership Team should consider fundraising to support the work of the guides, which in turn supports the work of the new teams.