Guidelines for starting new teams

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This is a draft document under heavy editing at the moment! Please add your thoughts here...


We might end up with two articles here (not a bad thing) as the comments below are coming from the following angles:

  1. What Guidelines does WE leadership want to set (Leadership guidelines)
  2. What is the best practice for starting new teams (Guidelines for us all)

--Kev-The-Hasty 15:31, 12 November 2008 (CET)

What Are the Basic Ingredients?

From the New Team Skills page:

  1. Hearing from God.
  2. Choosing a location. (incl. reconnaissance)
  3. Deciding what to do. (incl. prototyping)
  4. Finding/recruiting team members.
  5. Raising some money to start for me, team members and team ministry.
  6. Getting permission to start.
  7. Getting ongoing support and coaching from others in YWAM to start. (particularly a new YWAM center/location)
  8. Making local contacts.
  9. Finding a place to live.
  10. Finding a place to work and meet.
  11. Prayer.
  12. Communication in YWAM.
  13. Communication to the world.
  14. Networking skills with pastors and church leaders and local leaders.
  15. Skills in evangelism.
  16. Inventing new evangelism strategies.
  17. Skills in mercy ministries.
  18. Skills in church planting.
  19. Starting a business.
  20. Ability to create your own personal support network.
  21. Minimum bookkeeping and administrative functions.
  22. Team bonding and healthy team/community life.
  23. How to be pig-headed (a figure of speech meaning, stubborn, determined, persistent, indomitable) and keep going when it gets tough.
  24. Sharing knowledge and experience through the KnowledgeBase etc.

Number of People?

Need to know what stage a team is at before you can establish how many people are needed:

  • Movement, base, team, pioneering, scouting, presence, beach head, and consider stages

Don't care too much about the number, interested in the stage of the team. Need words that express what is happening


Fiscal Structures

  • Need to know what is going on. Accurate budget...
  • Training in raising money and presentation of budgets etc. (Including large super bike for Richard Lowe.)
  • Understanding of business and charity law relevant to the nation.
  • Need a national new teams bishopy dude who will help formulate the keys to growth, analyse, critique, enhance.....
  • Worthwhile looking at the book, "The Starfish and the Spider" and see some of the skills the dude (dudess) may need.
  • Identify key people to look into the accounts and keep people accountable. People with faith who know what they are talking about.

Accountability and Oversight

Accountability... Starts with a "S.M.A.R.T." plan Ministry Accountability: There should...

  1. Who should a new team be accountable to? Could be any of the following:
    1. European "Member Care" & Ministry Accountability Team
    2. Regional Leaders
    3. National Leaders
      1. Sending nation
      2. Same Nation (if sent within the same nation)
    4. The sending base
      1. Who on the base?
    5. Local leaders
    6. Partners
  2. What would that accountability look like?
    1. Monthly phone calls from
    2. Yearly visit
  3. What are the elements where we need to be accountable?
    1. Long term objectives
    2. Finances
    3. Team Dynamics
    4. Spiritual Life

Personal Accountability:

  1. Checking that what we are doing is right...

I think one question that needs to be addressed is how the senders should relate to the sent than the other way around... Do National roles need to be re-written to prioritise the support and oversight of New Teams? --Kev-The-Hasty 15:12, 12 November 2008 (CET)

Partnership With Sending Base/Other?

  • Always desireable!
  • Two way: To the team needs to flow cash (at least to start with), people and prayer. From the team: Communication and dynamism back to the sending body.
  • Partnership - aim to move from dependence to inter-dependence
  • Sending bases perhaps should consider a periodical new team release e.g. Hurlach sending out new teams every two years...
  • Decreasing sliding scale of financial support. I would suggest each location works it out for themselves but to have a clear budget for a new team that a large proportion is given by the sending base (on a decreasing annual scale, diminishing to zero) would be desirable I would think!
  • The relational link must not be broken between the sender and the sent
  • Consider Stolon sending compared to Dandelion clock sending

--Kev-The-Hasty 15:19, 12 November 2008 (CET)

Time Commitments

You can do less then you imagine in one year but more than you imagine in ten years! You could pick one of the following options!

  1. Minimum of 2 year commitment. Five years recommended. (There is a myth pioneers and settlers that we are one or the other. A true pioneer stays as long as is needed!)
  2. Depends on the project - if a 3 year city evangelism project is planned then stay 3 years. If it is to plant a long term work then don't plan on leaving!
  3. If senior leaders of the new team are not serious about spending a long time somewhere then it is not adviseable to send them out with a team under their care that they may well abandon!

--Kev-The-Hasty 15:23, 12 November 2008 (CET)


  • Make a point of introducing yourself to local pastors and ministry leaders
  • Will they make space for you?
  • When communicating, ask the question afterwards, "What did you hear me say?"
  • Having a ministry towards the city before you move to the city. Develop a relationship with the city before you go. Face to face with pastors and ministry leaders.
  • Onus on the sending base to visit the smaller team, e.g. parent visiting child.

Clear Vision and Developing Strategy

  • Going before you move there, building relationships with people, face to face. Bring teams in to serve the Church there.
  • Come with an attitude of humility, look long lasting fruit.
  • Trying things out in a safe environment, might not be your final destination where things are tried out. By the time you get to the destination you have already been doing something similar.
  • Only go if you feel a very strong call to the city, got to be God who leads.
  • Keep your eyes on what God wants for YWAM in that city, come and serve the Body there already, making sure you ask God why he wants YWAM in the city. What is it that God wants to speak to the city by your presence there.
  • Be careful not to come with something that undermines the validity of what Christians are already doing in the city.
  • Serving brings down the barriers for God to raise you up as a leader among the Church.
  • Look at small doors opening as part of the larger vision. Aim big and start small.
  • Broad direction with some specific steps
  • Where God has called you, keep looking beyond your patch so your focus doesn't remain internal.
  • Ministry -> look at whole base
  • Base -> Neighbourhood or city
  • City -> Nation
  • Nation -> Global
  • Possibility of someone more mature etc. to stay with the team for an extended time period.
  • Training for sending base, how to train the team sent out.
  • As you look to strengthen vision also work on relationships with where you have been sent as they are not independent. Keeps you part of a larger vision. Building relationships,
  • Base sends leader -> leader communications to team
  • Could be base sends out leader -> base communicates with whole team
  • Pursue relationships with people who can be objective and build up and encourage the work. Welcome perspective.
  • Be flexible in vision, when you get somewhere it may look very different.

Communication Strategies

  • Priscilla has something to add here...
  • EuroCom Communication Package is a useful tool to help plan a broad communications strategy.
  • Take initiative, as sending base, as smaller sent teams etc.
  • Use existing YWAM resources
  • Keep communication flowing, misunderstandings to a minimum
  • Centre point for information.
  • Married people leading together, or even not, if one of them is leading, keep everyone in the loop. Make conscious decisions not to make decisions as a couple exclusively.
  • Cc everyone in on emails.
  • Even ccing people in to emails who are outside of the process, inviting accountability and openness. Making sure to get permissions.
  • Getting together regionally with other smaller teams to talk and pray together, be a mutual support.
  • Regional leaders making a point of feeding back to smaller teams as to how they are part of the larger vision of the nation.

Being a Missional Presence in a Strategic Location

Missional = "doing the work of a missionary"? In our case Evangelism through proclamation and acts of compassion

This page might help: Vancouver Declaration

  • Population of the city -- over 100,000, does it have a university? Proximity to city centre. Ease of transportation. Nearness to local ministries. Church planting opportunities. Define strategic locations -- might be subjective... God centred, got a wider voice, access to other nations, arts centre, business, gay centre. This is not saying that one city is more important than another in terms of the lost but more about what locations are important in encouraging multipliable models and future growth.
  • Can include spiritual inheritance and tapping into anointing but not at the cost of missional outreach.
  • Missional presence is more than doing outreach once a week on a Friday week. It might not be daily but maybe it should be? Having a focus on the 10/40 Window is great but should this be at the cost of local outreach? If a team are preparing to move to somewhere in Africa in 2 years, where will they get their 'practical' training?
  • What is missional presence? -- What are the needs of your community, how are they being met or not met? What partnerships are available with church, organisations and government. Preaching the gospel at all times through lifestyle but also look for the gaps. (no one will be threatened by focussing on places no one else wants to be, i.e. church for drug addicts)
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication. Regular and strategic prayer/intercessory presence. 24-7prayer rooms. Prayer walking. Access to intentional basic and perhaps on going evangelism training. This might be in-house or getting it from somewhere else. Creating a reflective practice environment that is small group based and regularly assessing practice, how they are doing, how to improve etc. This connects to YWAMs values of live learn and would be helpful to include mentoring relationships. Perhaps it is helpful for DTS's and other staff of larger training bases to go and visit other YWAM locations to see what they are doing and what can they nick. Doesn't have to be just one project or ministry, a small team can have a surprising amount of hands in different pies as well as utilising non YWAM volunteers (such as local youth workers or ex YWAMers).

Outworking of and Engagement With YWAM DNA/Values

  • Being small forces a team to have to think about this and work on it. less to hide behind. Also having to be in non Christian environments every day forces you to pray more and engage with this. New teams don't have to recreate their mother base in miniature form. It is healthy to regularly visit other bases and cross pollinate with ministries/outreach elsewhere.
  • Eat together once a week. Meet once a week to sharpen each other, communicate and minister to one another. Supporting other bases in certain projects? Go and pray for other bases? Talk about the YWAM values and how we are living them out? How can we work on this?
  • Attendance to big YWAM gatherings such as conferences or prayer gatherings are key for YWAM injections.
  • Getting in guest speakers to 'bring things' Challenge and inspire.
  • Having relational support and regular visits to make you feel connected to the wider vision. National leadership forums are key to strategise, communicate and seek God together. New teams don't want to be sucked into loads and loads of pointless decision making policies.
  • YWAM DNA conference -- GET IT VIDEOED.
  • We need national leaders (travelling story tellers) that connect people and teams. Connectors. Pastoral but more than that

The Pathway to Starting a New Team

Consult early and broadly with wise council but particularly your leaders/national leaders. What do you do if your line leader says no.. Appeal process.....access to national leaders or the WELT. Who is on what team and who can I talk to that might be over my line leader?

  • Develop clear vision/mission statements and strategic processes. Who do you go to if you find this difficult? You need to be able to communicate the vision early on.
  • Start with prayer, personally, in groups and in the location you want to go to. Get wider prayer cover. Do reccy trips to your locale....spy out the land. Hold it in prayer until it becomes to real (inside you) that you can step naturally into it. Nurturing the vision in your spirit.
  • This kind of prayer is part of a wider process.
  • Intentional training. How do you get ready and what do you need to be ready? What skills are important as you start out. What is out there?
  • Research what is already happening in that place as well as what has happened in the past? God speaks through this process.
  • Make a list of what you need to do it? I.e. How many people, money, accommodations, what resources, booking keeping skills, networking skills etc.
  • Network BEFORE you go. Plough the ground and begin relationships.
  • If you have had a regular involvement for a year beforehand then when you move you are already there. If proximity to that place is harder in terms of distance, then look for summer service opportunities or things to support once in a while.

Book and Internet Resources

I saw this on the web and it looks like a helpful resources. Haven't read it but it is the kind of resource we are looking for.

Forming Missionary Teams

MTS also has a new booklet called The Missionary Team, which discusses how to form and lead a missionary team. This study helps a team develop a memorandum of understanding and an action plan. It outlines responsibilities of team members and the team leader. Other areas covered include:

  • Practical suggestions for building a strong team. 
  • Family life as missionaries.
  • Dealing with culture shock.
  • Relationships with the home church and sending agency.
  • Spiritual warfare.
  • Proven spiritual ways of raising prayer and financial support.
  • Dealing with emergencies.
  • Handling sexual temptation on the field.
  • Organizing home leave and furloughs.

"Looks VERY good. How can we NOT order this book!???"

US$5.00 plus Seamail: US$2.00 Airmail US$3.00. Checks go to:

The Missionary Training Service
The Old Police House
Evershot, Dorchester, DT2 0LB
United Kingdom

Write Ian at for more info.

And the website is