Team Ministry (part 1)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about team ministry. Team ministry at the top level (pastor and team) is critical for healthy cell church ministry. And I’m not only talking about team ministry at the mega church level. Even if you only have one cell–like one pastor I’m coaching–you need to think now about forming a team.

The very nature of the Trinity is team ministry. The Trinity is One, yet each person of the Trinity has His distinct function.

In Exodus 18, God spoke through Jethro to Moses to stop his lone-ranger activity. God directed Moses to form a top level team of seventy elders, which would then direct the leaders of the 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s.

Jesus worked on a team of twelve, but you could argue that Peter, James, and John were Christ’s true team. And Paul ministered on teams throughout his missionary career. I’m sure Paul’s team prayed, strategized, and sought to discern God’s will in every unique situation.

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Team ministry takes the load off one pastor and distributes the yoke to others. Team ministry not only helps a pastor to minister more effectively but also prevents the yoke from becoming too heavy.

I first learned about team ministry in Ecuador (my previous church planting experience in Long Beach, CA from 1983 to 1989 was more of the lone ranger approach). Upon landing in Quito, Ecuador in 1990, I was immediately placed on a team of pastors at the El Batán Church. This church was part of the Encounter with God strategy that started in Lima, Perú back in the 70s. One cornerstone of Encounter with God was team ministry. When we at the El Batan church planted the Republic Church, we started as a team of one national couple and two missionary couples. Team ministry is so much more effective than the lone-ranger approach. In my church plant here in Moreno Valley, we meet as a team of two couples every Wednesday to pray, nurture the cell ministry, and oversee the church.

Your team might consist of elders, cell leaders, or pastors. The team might be paid or volunteer. In the cell church, however, those on your team must be 100% involved in cell ministry and totally committed to it. In my next blog, I’ll fill in more details about team ministry. Until then, let me ask you, Are you practicing team ministry? Having a hard time finding a team? What think yee?

Joel

 

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