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January 11, 2013

Building Strong Local Churches Through Team Ministry

by LDI Global Missions

A great commitment to a great commandment and the great commission will grow a great church!
(Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren, p. 102)

The foundation of your church will determine both its size and strength. One can never build larger than the foundation can handle.

Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The Great Commandment was given by Jesus in response to a question. One day, Jesus was asked to identify the most important command. He responded by giving the essence of the entire Old Testament. Jesus said, “All the Law and all the Prophets can be condensed into two tasks:

  1. Love God with all your heart
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Warren, p. 102)

In some of Christ’s last words to His disciples, Jesus gave the Great Commission and assigned three more tasks:

  1. Go make disciples
  2. baptize them
  3. teach them to obey everything he had taught.

It was never God’s intention for one man to carry the church. If we try to lead a church alone the strain and pressure can become too much and over time we will be pulled apart, losing our vision and ability to perform.

That’s why Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states, Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

When you drive down our Ghanaian roads you will often see a billboard promoting our NHIL. The picture that they have chosen really strengthens their advertisement.

  • There is strength in numbers.
  • There is strength in unity (Psalm 133:1; Ephesians 4:3, 13).
  • A developed leader can accomplish a lot. But a developed team can accomplish more!
  • The secret to building a healthy church is to develop a healthy team.
  • Jesus Christ impacted the world as a result of a healthy team.

A healthy team does not mean you always agree on everything. In fact, the opposite is true. A team that agrees on everything is not a healthy team.

A healthy team…

  1. Understands the importance of shared values.
  • Identify the values of each team member.
  • Values are the beliefs that drive our behavior. They are the cornerstones of church’s culture.

If you have someone on your team that does not have the same value system it will cost you a lot:

Emotional energy
Low morale
Declining performance
Missed opportunities

  • Some shared values should be:
    • Faithfulness: proven members of your congregation.
    • Clear understanding and application of Acts 2:38.
    • Living a separated life above reproach.
    • They must be prayerful and careful with the souls placed in their charge.

2. Understands the necessity of placing people in positions according to their talents or gifting.

    • The wrong person in the wrong place = REGRESSION
    • The wrong person in the right place = FRUSTRATION
    • The right person in the wrong place = CONFUSION
    • The right person in the right place = PROGRESSION
    • The right people in the right places = MULTIPICATION (Teamwork makes the Dream Work, John C. Maxwell, p. 82)

3. Understands the value of outlining the role of each member on the team.

    • Job descriptions allow you to measure performance and encourage team unity.

4. Understands that their roles support each other and do not compete with one another.

    • “We have not come to compete with one another. We have come to complete one another.” Bill McCartney

5. Understands that it is their responsibility to develop and maintain unity.

    • Act ethically (Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)
    • “You cannot prove character after you have begun your ministry. You must prove yourself before you begin ministry.” (Anonymous)

6. Understands the need to grow consistently in their area of knowledge and performance.

    • When we stop learning we stop leading.

7. Understands the principle: iron sharpens iron and are given the freedom to express their opinions.

    • “Teamwork gives you the best opportunity to turn vision into reality.” (Teamwork makes the Dream Work, John C. Maxwell, p. 20)

Team ministry is the result of team development. An effective team develops on purpose. It does not develop by accident… read more, finish this article.

By Nick Sisco

Download article here: PDF

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