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Mitch Barnhart Shares on Building Healthy Teams

If someone would have asked me earlier this summer what accomplishment on Mitch Barnhart’s resume I felt was the most impressive, I probably would have pointed to the 2012 National Championship in basketball, or the numerous Bowl games the football program has participated in, or maybe even the development of some of the nation’s best athletic facilities. But, after hearing Mr. Barnhart speak at The Fellowship, I think it’s pretty clear what he believes is his most remarkable achievement. He mentioned it at the beginning of his message, almost as a rallying cry not just for leaders of athletic programs, but leaders in any occupation – “we’re equipping people to launch people.” Many of his former administrations have been developed under his leadership and gone on to become athletics directors at other national prominent universities.

His plea was not anything new, but served as an encouraging reminder to lead with long-term plans in mind. “Leadership can’t be transactional,” he said. “It must be transformational.” This begins by developing others and unleashing them into their role so that the impact can travel farther. And it’s this idea of building into others that spoke so deeply to me as a pastor. He shared 5 practical ideas for helping us build healthy teams.

  1. Find people of high character – we must develop people who are making wise (biblical) choices.

  2. Find people of great integrity – we must understand that integrity defines the rules.

  3. Find people who want to continue learning – we must match resources and expectations so that we can continue to develop ourselves, our programs, our churches, and our people.

  4. Be good stewards of what you have – we must blaze the trail to be sacrificial in what we give, what we know, and what we have. If what you’re building isn’t costing you something, then it generally won’t succeed.

  5. Find people who are competitive – we must understand as pastors we aren’t competing for members, but for hearts. The speed of the leader often times dictates the speed of the team.

As Mr. Barnhart concluded his talk, he encouraged the members of the Bluegrass Christian Fellowship to continue pouring out blessings for the Kingdom of God. “Churches plant a legacy, the legacy of each generation is the leadership of the next.” As we continue to commit as a network of churches in Central KY to partner together, we must never forget Jesus’ command to build into other people. Through continued prayer, belief, and preparation, I believe that one day we will look back on our most successful accomplishments and point to the awesome ways God utilized us to influence others so that they were equipped to be launched all over the world.

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