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 toward a common outcome. Search for “Team Ministry books” at Amazon.com and you will 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 us were 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.
One of your key functions as a ministry leader is to produce leaders. Great leaders build great leaders, not gather more followers. You are responsible to make leaders out of the men and women God has brought to you. Your primary leadership role is “to prepare God's people for works of service.”
The majority of pastors today do not see themselves as leaders. George Barna reports only 4% of pastors call themselves a leader. Most seminaries or Bible colleges do not see themselves as making leaders. Rather, they are in the job of making pastor/teachers.
I want you to accept the challenge that you, by virtue of the calling God has given you, are a leader. He has given you a vision and passionate mission to renew your city or community by the power of the Gospel. That alone is the cloak of leadership. To excel in your leadership role, make great leaders. Don’t settle for gathering hundreds of followers.
Identifying potential leaders is one of the critical factors from day one. Along with people gathering, evangelism, community networking, and financial issues, having “leadership eyes” is essential to long-term growth. How do we identify potential leaders knowing that:
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, ministry leader, and missionary is created to thrive in ministry. We suggest getting a Gospel Coach to help walk with you through the challenges you’ve never faced before.
Gospel Coaching is an intentional Gospel conversation with focused discussions on one's relational, personal, missional, and spiritual life. Our coaches are experienced and certified to equip leaders for sustainable gospel ministry. Click here to learn more about Gospel Coaching today!