Blog Teamwork makes the Dream Work by Kelly Colangelo Someone recently gave me a note card that read: “Never ever stop dreaming big crazy dreams” As youth ministers, we have some pretty EPIC dreams. We want good things for our teens and our parish. Accidentally and unintentionally, sometimes we do this by solely focusing on the youth ministry program rather than being part of the big picture of our parishes. We are called to work side by side with other parish staff team members, not separate. We are called to be in a community. As youth leaders, we need to remember and make an effort to be part of the parish staff. Recognizing and understanding the responsibility of our ministry needs as the good for the entire parish, not just our “individual” area will aid our relationship with other staff and help our ministry programs overall. Do you see yourself as part of a team? That team might consist of a pastor, secretary, Faith Formation Director, school principal, maintenance team, Pastoral Ministers, and other staff and volunteers, or it might look a little different. Whatever it looks like, there is no “I” in team (so overused, but it is true). Here are some suggestions of how to integrate into the life of your parish staff. Show up for staff meetings & gatherings Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s really hard to go to another meeting, especially a staff meeting. Attending staff meetings joyfully, and prepared to share glory stories fosters positive work relationships and displays a commitment toward each other’s ministry as a whole. Communicate (there is no such thing as over-communication!) If we want the parish staff to be excited and support our ministry – they have to know about it. Don’t assume others know what you do. Good youth ministers have a plan; great youth ministers communicate and execute that plan with honesty and clarity to others. Reliability We need to keep our word. If we say we are going to do something – do it. Can others count on you to meet deadlines, to be consistent, and to follow through on tasks? It’s great to be part of a team and work together. Accountability As part of a unified team, we care about each other, we call each other out, and we communicate because we are stronger together. Accountability is important in a staff setting and also serves as a reminder to one another when we are not living up to the performance standards of the group. Affirmation Everyone in ministry has unique roles and works hard. It’s good to be affirmed for what we do, and it is important for us to lift up our fellow staff members! When you hear something or see something positive take place, let someone know. So many times the feedback is always negative, and we overlook the good things or let them fly by unnoticed. Take the time to celebrate as a team. A Youth Minister should not work independent of the parish but in total alignment with the parish and parish staff. When you are part of a work team, others have a sense of connection and greater dedication to the entire parish. What is your experience?