Sam Fagan on: Creating the best team to work with

SJFWhile I was in the city campus Sam Fagan was killing it up at the Hills campus, and has grown from strength to strength in his leadership and is now located on the city-side of Hillsong Church Sydney. Anyway I got some questions out of him the other day, and I hope it helps you!

What are ways you have created fun amongst your team
Fun is a core value for us as a youth ministry. I often say in jest, but seriously, “if it ain’t fun, we ain’t doing it”. And I believe the fun starts with me as a Youth Pastor, then the leadership team – hence, our 30min leaders meetings before the program are wild. We rave, we rap, we tell jokes, we yell out comments at inappropriate times etc etc. Leaders generate this kind of atmosphere…. And their example gives permission to the kids to let their hair down. Fun is powerful, and not to over spiritualize it, but walls come down when kids have fun, and they are more receptive to the serious stuff then.

If you could do only 2 things each week without fail, what would they be.
Spend time with my Key Leaders, and spend time with Key Students. Chris Durso said over the weekend – “speaking to the next generation is very different to pouring into the next generation.”
If I could add a third it would be calling and following up the new Christians and new people. If I as the Youth Pastor can value it not just with words but action, it sets a great example for the Youth Ministry – and we want youth ministries that are prioritizing making new people feel at home.

How do you decide who goes from team member to key leader
Track record, fruit, attitude and dreams for the future.

How do you get admin done without a paid PA / office girl
Schedule it in!!! Make it a meeting you cannot change or move around. Give allocated time to it, otherwise it will drive you crazy all week and nothing else will get done. Couple hours on a Tuesday and Thursday locked in every week, will free up the rest of the time for what you really want to be doing.

How do you serve those in positions above you.(campus pastors etc)
What’s their vision and goals for what they are overseeing – how can the Youth Ministry help achieve them. Make their goals your own where appropriate!
And then just love them, pray for them and defend them! They are human beings with flaws, not perfect leaders who never make mistakes.

What are ways you build respect and loyalty from leaders
Do life with them. And be interested not just in their leadership and what they do for you, but be interested in their life, their personal goals, their family etc etc.
And just be a man of your word. If you say it, do it!! Be consistent, punctual, and hard working!

What are some ways you build relationships with parents.
Dropoff and pickup on Friday nights…. Leaders are out the front of our building and switched on to shaking hands with parents, saying hello, letting them know about all that’s going on in youth.
And Foyers on Sundays. Probably the key time for this to happen!!! All our leaders know that this is the main thing we do on Sundays.
* we also run a parent info night once term. Whilst our youth program is happening. Parents drop off kids, then come into a separate room where we host them, eat, meet some key leaders and we usually try to line up a speaker for 15mins – someone who can bring insight to issues parents may be having (eg: counsellor, Pastoral Care pastor, psychologist… Etc)

How could your team grow from where it is now
Set realistic goals, brainstorm and plan how to get there…. Then most importantly, but what we are terrible at most of the time, be accountable and outwork it!!!
Dream Big, work hard and pray!