Team ministry has been written about a lot. Whether in the business community, medical community, start-up companies, large corporations, military or education, teams are the way to go. But it has not always been so in the church. Today, more and more churches see the value of forming ministry teams who work together towards a common outcome. Search for "Team Ministry books" at amazon.com and you'll find over 300 titles. You can find practical help for doing ministry as a team or working with teams in the church through a variety of sources.
Since many of you have been raised in an educational system that thrives on learning groups or work groups, from elementary education on up, you might have experienced a close relative of teams. Work groups are similar, but not the same as teams. You most likely have been part of a small group that studies together. Again, it is similar but not the same.
Most of what is in the marketplace about team ministry is utilitarian in nature. It is as if the whole purpose of team ministry is to get some job done in the best, most efficient way.
The Bible makes it clear that teams did not originate with a business guru, but first in the Trinity. God himself exists and functions as a team (Gen. 1:26). He is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. God is love because God is a Trinity (team). The Triune God worked together in Creation and it is the Triune God (team) that worked in bringing salvation and renewal. God is generous, creative, serving, and saving because He is a Trinity. We were created to exist and function as a team (Gen. 1:27, 28). Your marriage and kids are a team.
We also discover that teams are the basic building blocks for the church (Mk. 3:14; Acts 1:15, 26). Teams bring together a diversity of gifts and are the best place for disciple-making. In the local church, team members should be committed to one another's relational, personal, missional, and spiritual growth and health. They must see themselves as mutually responsible and accountable for one another.
Teams have the potential to be one of the most powerful drivers of planting and growing a healthy, reproducing church. However, teams simply don't just happen. They take time to mature. They require proper leadership.
Click here to download your FREE eBook "Team Building for Beginners" and consider the 3 keys for developing teamwork in your new church.
According to research, after four years of labor, the average size of a church plant in North America is 100 people (that’s total attendance). Yet most Church Planters I have assessed, trained, and/or coached never start a church with the intention of being a church of 100 people or less. Very few churches are launched with the view that in five short years they will plateau or stagnate in their growth, becoming inwardly focused on maintaining their existing structures.
My observation of church plants (since 1985) is that the majority of new churches that grow quickly and pass through the ordinary size barriers have done so by one of two ways:
1) they launched as a Hive-off from an existing mother church (usually launching with over 100 people)
2) they “benefited” from another local church’s painful conflict and resulting split. In that scenario, the new church is a small mission one Sunday and then the next Sunday there is a large influx of previously churched people and momentum up flows from there.
Rarely do I find new churches that are growing by an intentional, focused mission on reaching the spiritually lost unchurched. But healthy, living things grow and reproduce.
So, let's explore the dynamics of planting a church that will reproduce itself. If we are going to ever have a church planting movement, we will need to plant churches that intend to reproduce themselves regularly. But before we get down to the nuts and bolts, let’s consider these Two Non-negotiable Assumptions:
1. You, as the Church Planter, must want to plant a church that reproduces. You must see this as God’s will for you and His Church.
2. You must be ruthless with setting and keeping the DNA for reproduction. Every decision, from who will serve as your first leaders, staffing decisions, your first budget decisions, the location and facility decisions will all be tested. Will you grow one large church that does missions or will you reproduce the church?
3 Key/Essential Perspectives for Planting
Remember, you don’t have to plant a church alone. Never before has there been more resources for training as there are now. If you want to have a gospel-centered church, it’s important to have a gospel-centered coach. Church Planter Coaching is an intentional gospel conversation with focused discussions about the planter’s relational, personal, missional and spiritual life. If you would like to learn more about getting a C.R.O.S.S. Coach to help encourage and equip you every step along the way learn more today at www.cmmnet.org.
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, and ministry leader is created to thrive in ministry.
I suggest getting a C.R.O.S.S. Coach to help walk with you through the challenges you’ve never faced before. A coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way.