——-Discover Purpose 305 ——-

He Wants You on His Team

What models of team ministry did Jesus exemplify?  List all that you can think of:

Defining team ministry:

Team ministry may be defined as a group of people working together to provide oversight, nurture,  and to develop a clear direction and purpose for the ministry area they are assigned. This definition involves three aspects of team ministry.

* First, it involves mutual and shared authority. Instead of being in competition with one another concerning power, each learns to value and accept the input of the other.

* Second, team ministry involves the recognition of mutual responsibility for the spiritual oversight of the ministry. Team ministry moves the leadership from the organizational priorities to the spiritual responsibilities. They recognize that the spiritual care of the church is not just the charge of the pastor but equally belongs to the members.

* Third, team ministry involves organizational oversight.

Prerequisites for team ministry:

To build an effective team ministry, members need to understand the foundation for mutual cooperation. They need to recognize that in order to develop teamwork, they must build upon the right relationship.

1.Effective teams build upon a biblical theology of team ministry. Working together as a team is not the latest management fad, but springs from the heart of the biblical concept of leadership within the church.


What do you learn from Proverbs 11:14 about teams?  See also Prov. 15:22

When the early church was founded, it was established under the leadership team of the twelve apostles. In its first missionary venture, they sent out the team of Barnabas and Paul (Acts 13:2), following the pattern already established by Christ (Matthew 6:7). When they appointed leaders in the churches they established, they appointed multiple elders (Acts 14:23).

2.Effective teams understand the nature of leadership within the small church. They realize that leadership is not vested by position but by relationships. The pastor is not threatened by the congregation or by the "tribal chiefs." Instead, he strives to work with them and use their influence. The team understands that the small church views leadership from a family perspective where relationships form the basis for all decisions. Rather than the corporate perspective where the organizational health determined the goals, budgets and programs, the small church evaluates everything from relational health.

How would you describe the “relational health” in your church?  Are teams functioning freely ?  Why or why not?

3. What does Paul say about relationships?   (Eph. 5:21).

Submission implies that each person within the congregation (and leadership) voluntarily yields to one another in love. Rather than pushing our agendas through, we are to be willing to set aside our personal desires, needs and plans for the benefit of the whole and the maintenance of unity within the church.

In what areas have you “pushed” for your own agenda regardless of the benefit or unity of the whole?

4.  What does 1 Cor. 13:7 tell you is a quality of effective teams?

 Just as God has entrusted the leadership of the church to selected individuals (1 Cor. 4:2).   We need to value others judgment and opinions, striving to see the best in others rather than seeing the worst. Instead of quickly judging the motives of others, we learn to have confidence in each other’s spiritual integrity.

5.Effective teams love the church. While Ephesians 5:25-33 has traditionally been used as a text on the husband’s love for his wife, Paul makes it clear that the primary focus of his discussion is upon Christ’s love for the church (verse 32). Effective leaders love the church. They are motivated to service, not to get more recognition or influence, but because of their passion to see the church become all God designed her to be.

Since the mission of the church is the same as the mission of Jesus, to seek and to save the lost – then what does “love the church” mean?  What should be the primary goal of all teams within the church?

6.Effective teams are built upon what, according to1 Timothy 3:17; Titus 1:5-9?

 While the secular community looks for leaders who have multiple abilities, keen intellect and dynamic personalities, the church is to look for leaders who have a deep love for Christ, a passion for truth, and a consistent biblical lifestyle.

Avoiding the Team Killers:

While building upon the right foundation for team leadership is critical, it is also important to identify and avoid those things that will destroy an effective team.

Team Killer #1:  Pride.

While education and training is critical for effective ministry, the danger is that we can equate training and biblical knowledge with spirituality.   

Why / how do you think pride kills Team Effectiveness?

Team Killer #2: Lack of Acceptance.

How does lack of acceptance effect relationships within the church / team?  How can this killer be overcome?

Team Killer #3: Suspicion.

What is Suspicion? 

How does suspicion work in a persons life to undermine team ministry?

How does a person overcome a suspicious attitude?

Team Killer #4: Inflexibility.

When any individual  always says "no" to any new idea or proposal, the teamwork within the church breaks down. The team needs individuals who are open to new ideas and who are willing to openly evaluate change. People who are inflexible are those who refuse to accept any opinion or proposal that is not in full agreement with their personal concept of what things should be.

Effective teams are built upon people who are open, who evaluate ideas and listen carefully to others before formulating their decisions. They are willing to "agree to disagree" and will support issues and proposals even if they are not in full agreement.

In what ways have you been open to new ideas? 

If you / others have not been open to new ideas, what was your basis for rejecting them?  Was it soundly based on Scripture?  Tradition?  Personal Preference?

Team Killer #5: Docility.

In sharp contrast to the inflexible person is the one who always goes with the flow and is always a "yes" person. This is the individual who never expresses his own ideas but always agrees with the leader. Teamwork is built upon individuals who are not afraid to disagree, who raise objections to issues in order to protect the congregation from poor decisions. While they do not demand that everyone agree and follow their opinions, they are not afraid to express their ideas and give their input.

Why is it so important for each team member to provide input and creativity to the team?

In what ways have you been involved and creative? 


Healthy churches operate with a team. Instead of the pastor and members struggling against one another for power and authority, they learn the value and importance of shared authority. While they have different functions and roles within the life of the congregation, they also recognize that only by working together can they lead the church in the fulfillment of its biblical responsibilities.




























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