Multiplication Center

Service Teams that Go Above and Beyond

January 21, 2014

Published on January 21, 2014

by Warren Bird

When it comes to recruiting and continuing to motivate a key team in its four-campus portable operation, Liquid Church (Morristown, N.J.) leaders are learning it’s all in a certain T-shirt and what it represents.

The camaraderie is so strong today on the church’s “Roadies” team—service groups that set up each campus beginning at 5:00 a.m. every Sunday, and a different team that packs it all away at the end of the day—that a steady flow of Liquid Church people want in.

“This is a special core group of people, and they take pride in getting up so early or staying late to serve,” says John Kubisky, Liquid Church’s Logistics Director. “That’s one of our mottos: ‘First In, Last Out.’

“They reflect that, they honor that, and they love the mindset that it sets them apart from all the other service teams,” he says.

To underscore the high commitment of this team, each member gets a jersey. “Roadies gear” is actually a hot item at Liquid, but you can’t just buy one at the Liquid Church Store.

“I know it sounds silly, but we have a limited number of people with Roadies gear, and I have people asking me all the time where they can get one of those shirts,” John says. “I tell them they need to serve a couple of times in the morning first, then we’ll talk about getting you a shirt.”

Ephesians 3:7 (NLT) is on the very popular Roadies gear. It reads, “By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving Him.”

Identity Behind the Shirt

For Liquid, the shirt has become a small motivator that represents something much bigger in the life of the team.

John says when he became a full-time staff member in charge of Liquid’s various campus setups, no one was clamoring to be a Roadie. “I noticed guys weren’t that motivated, and they were haphazardly putting things together,” he says. “We needed to make this service area special, change the mentality and make this exciting for the guys.”

Along with the implementation of new Roadies gear came a few minutes each week for the team to touch base over coffee and donuts before they kick into the task at hand. John also created a men’s “Roadies group” that meets during the week, and has even planned some fishing trips and other extended times away for the team.

A part-time staff position was established for a roadies coordinator at each campus. This staff addition produced much smoother logistical communication between the central staff and the individual campus teams for any additional details on Sunday services. The added bonus is now that each individual campus roadies team has a go-to person for anything: supplies, ideas, spiritual guidance etc.

“We looked for things outside of Sunday morning to unite as a team and help form our family,” John says. “A lot of times on Sunday, we don’t have time to do things like discuss our faith, discuss what’s going on in life, who’s having issues in their marriage, and things like that.”

Life-on-Life Impact

Liquid Church also produced a 2-minute video that is shown regularly at a weekend service at the church’s four campuses. It highlights the work of the Roadies and the impact the team is having on people such as “Frank.”

In the video, Roadie Frank discusses how he was battling depression and had pulled away from the church and the group. He didn’t want to talk to anyone and was shutting himself out—until a bunch of Roadies showed up at his door one night and wouldn’t leave until they connected.

“I was shocked,” Frank says in the video. “They all prayed for me and were trying to cheer me up. That’s the love we share on the Roadies team. It’s all for one and one for all.”

 

Documentary video showing the impact the Roadies Experience has on volunteers at Liquid Church’s New Brunswick campus.

 

Potential Recruits Invited to Look Behind the Curtain

A couple of other initiatives keep fresh blood flowing into the Roadies. Team leaders invite those interested in serving but not sure where or how to come to a “Shadow Serving” experience, where they can see how the team operates. This experience helps them discern whether to sign up.

Liquid also holds regular “Backstage Tours” to show guests and members what it takes to pull off the portable multisite congregation, and the various serving opportunities that are available.

“That gives all the leaders a chance to sell their team and create a buzz or interest around their particular ministry,” John says. “It gives us a chance to remind people there are no magical elves behind the scenes making all this happen.”

“Everything that we’re doing to serve God and build a church takes you. This is your church, we tell them,” John says.

Liquid Church Roadies (spouses invited too) frequently meet outside of church to unite as a team and socialize.

A Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

All of that relational emphasis has created a “brotherhood” on the Roadies that attracts and deepens the commitment of people like Matt—an Army man who likes the physical nature of the Roadies’ work, the fact that he can volunteer early in the morning without cutting into family time and the esprit de corps that comes from working alongside others to give back.

On Matt’s weeks to serve, he works with the early-morning Roadies in one multisite location, then often takes his wife’s baked treats and helps a team tear down after the church’s only evening service in a different location.

“I do this because of the love I have for Liquid Church,” Matt says. “I feel like every message every week is speaking directly to me. So getting up early in the morning and helping out is a small thing that I can do to say to our pastors, ‘I support you. I want to be there to help you because I love what Liquid’s about and the impact it’s having on me and my family and others.’ ”

The Roadies’ bond as they serve is just what John Kubisky envisioned when he began building the team. He helps keep the team’s spirit high by investing in his leaders and helping them care beyond just getting the job done and four locations set up every week.

“The Roadies really do care for each other,” John says, “and it shows. “They have grown to love each other.”

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