1.2 Forming a Core Leadership Team

Core Team Purpose:

  • To support and facilitate the ministry with a focus on maintaining alignment with the mission statement and vision of the ministry. Focused on Spirituallife development, growth in awareness, and prayerfulness, rather than service/action.
  • To keep the weekly administration of the ministry off the Pastor’s plate. Also, to ensure the attendee experience remains free of distractions and administrative talk/duties. Each Saturday should provide a safe place for men to form faith-based friendships thru sharing in small group settings that build intimacy and trust.

Who's on the Core Team and why?

  • The Core Team always begins with the men who jump-start the ministry. In filling out your leadership team, it is important to select 5 to 7 men who have a reasonably mature faith life, embrace the model and want to participate in running the ministry. Often the men who start the ministry are not always the men who will take it to the next level. The leadership usually does evolve as the ministry grows and that’s okay.
  • The Core Team works best as a shared leadership model with men spearheading specific areas of responsibility. Each communicating with the team, giving/receiving feedback and ultimately driving the look and feel of the ministry. Each leader chosen should have some general skill in one of the following fours areas.

Core Team Roles Responsibilities

  • Content Development: Aside from the weekly Gospels, what might the men be looking for in terms of future sessions? What are you hearing at the tables that could be developed for future topics? This would mean occasionally surveying the men on at least a quarterly basis. Also, consider special thematic sessions that tie into our liturgical seasons. Other relevant topical events could provide subject matter to consider from a faith perspective; such as church teachings or societal events. This can help to keep things fresh and also provides an opportunity to invite new men at mass to “our upcoming series on Advent” etc. This person (leader) would work with clergy and share with the team. We have created enough content on this site to run your ministry for 3 to 4 years. That said, as you get the feel for it you may want to develop sessions for the specific needs of your men.
  • Recruitment/Development: How will you grow the ministry? This person would spearhead all ministry communications. Parish web site development and presence, bulletin announcements, retreat opportunities, special events, men’s or parish wide breakfasts and any announcements at meetings etc. We recommend having men assigned to penetrate certain constituencies; KOC, parish school, etc.
  • Hospitality: Most ministries provide hot coffee and bagels or donuts each week, with a basket on the table for a $2-5 dollar free will donation. The idea is a welcoming environment where the guys spend the first 15 minutes in casual conversation about anything… friendships are formed here. Not mandatory, but a nice touch.
  • Treasurer-Attendance: Its important to keep track of who is showing up, who falls off and why. If you don’t track it, you don’t always recognize when or why some guys suddenly stops attending. Most groups make up nametags for everyone and any left unused are noted. We don’t actually take attendance, we just observe the consistency of attendance and discuss as needed.

Core Team administrative suggestions:

  1. Start a having Core Team meetings every other month. Some groups have weekly conference calls others meet in person 3-4 times a year unless something comes up that warrants a discussion. Generally meetings center on what is being heard at the table from the men, the quality of the discussion, the depth of sharing and planning for future session topics and events.
  2. Establish a Core Team rotation policy so others have an opportunity to be involved in a leadership role if they wish to. Generally at other ministries, men might serve on the core team for couple of years and then decide they want a break. Always be on the lookout for potential new leaders.
  3. Announce the members of the Core Team to the ministry attendees and let them know who covers which areas of responsibility. Invite the men to contact anyone on the team if they are interested in serving.

Things to keep an eye on:

  • Developing strong Table Captains: Having someone to guide the conversation at each table is important at the beginning and becomes critical as you grow your ministry. We can’t over emphasize the need for this. An entire section devoted to this topic will follow.
  • Keeping the focus of conversations on the session topic, the scripture reading, and the discussion questions being used.
  • Encourage discussion related to the men’s lived experience. Avoid becoming overly involved in scripture analysis, interpretation and doctrine beyond clarification.
  • Taking the pulse of the group, what are their needs and are we meeting them in terms of facilitating the discussion?
  • Practicing these facilitation skills early on as a leadership team is important. Typically as your ministry begins to grow and you add tables with new men, each of your Core Team Leaders may become your first set of Table Captains by default.