The Case for Church Planting

The Case for Church Planting

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

Church Planting is a primary ministry focus of the TEBA.  Last week our annual TEBA Golf Tournament raised more than $10,000+ to assist in planting churches.  With the increasing number of people moving into our area, the need for new churches being planted continues to be a pressing need in our Association.

 David Smith, the DOM in Austin, and I have been friends for several years.  He too serves in an area where the need for new churches is pressing.  I recently read an article David wrote about the impact of on churches who plant churches based on the work of Dr. Jeffery C. Farmer, and below you will find 3 of the objections he noted related to sponsor churches.  Dr. Farmer is the Professor of Church Ministry and Evangelism at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and he conducted extensive research on behalf of the North American Mission Board regarding the impact of church planting on sponsor churches. 

Farmer’s research determined church planting largely had a predominantly positive impact on sponsor churches.  He looked at 15 factors related to people (including membership and attendance) as well as additional financial factors.  All the factors studied either grew or remained stable during the 10-year period Farmer studied.  There are three common objections churches have when it comes to church planting and Farmer’s research addresses each.

Objection 1: The church does not have enough money to plant a church.  This study showed the financial areas to be impacted the most, as you would assume.  But the impact was positive in each area.  Of course, designated gifts increase most likely because of the financial obligation to the church plant.  The study also showed a shift in the attitude of missions giving as participation levels for the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon Offerings increased in the five years following the church plant.

Objection 2: The church cannot afford to give up members to a church plant.  This study showed that worship attendance increased for the five years after the church plant was launched.

Objection 3: The church is concerned with the proximity of the church plant to the current congregation.  This study showed that the proximity of the church plant did not appear to have a significant impact on the sponsor church.

As Farmer said, “It appears as though the sponsoring of church plants creates an interest in mission in the local church.  This study showed that members of the sponsor churches increased financial support of missions and more people attended the worship services.  [Farmer] believes that a mission-focused atmosphere in the church aids the members to be more receptive to the Holy Spirit, which allows the members to see their community from a kingdom perspective rather than a parochial perspective.”

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director ~ AMS

“Christians are more than willing to give sacrificially; however, they must be given the opportunity and the vision.”  Dr. Jeffery Farmer

6 Soft Skills of Effective Leaders

6 Soft Skills of Effective Leaders

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

Do you want to be a more effective servant leader?  I believe most church leaders want to be growing leaders.  We know the scripture is the foundation for building the ethic and character of true leadership.  Many times, I have been reading a secular book on leadership and have seen principles from the Bible referenced directly or indirectly in the pages of the text.

 That came to mind when reading an article online by Larry Buhl regarding “Soft Skills” which employers find valuable in candidates for open positions in their companies.  As I reviewed these qualities, I saw they would be desirable in our church leadership too.  As you read the information below reflect on how you’re doing on your “Soft Skill” development. 

Leadership/Team Building. Can you build a team?  Servant-Leaders need to be able to recruit and equip a team to “do the work of ministry” so the ministry can grow to its full potential.  Too often leaders will falter in creating a team and try to accomplish all the work themselves.  This solo effort will often cause a loss of effectiveness and leader burnout.

 Team Player. Do you know how to play well with others in the sandbox?  Servant Leaders must model good team behaviors including shared leadership if we are going to build strong team members.  It is important to let others lead out in the areas of their expertise and to not be a “minimizing” expert on everything.

 Goal-Oriented Self-Starter. Do you work hard without direct supervision?  More importantly, do you work on the right things at the right time or do you just stay busy without effectiveness?  Servant leaders stay focused on the “main things” so they don’t lose sight of the goals which move the ministry forward.

 Excellent Communicator. Everyone in ministry needs to be able to “write a coherent memo or email, give clear verbal instructions, and help meetings run smoothly” not to mention present information in a clear and precise manner.  The only thing worse than pointless preaching is “long” pointless preaching.

 Flexibility/Multi-Tasking Ability. Can you handle the varied duties of ministry?  Most of us will never be in a place where all we ever have to do are the things for which we have passion.  We are required to cope with having many ministry plates spinning at one time.

 Sense of Humor. Not taking yourself too seriously is appreciated by the other members of our team and the congregations we serve.  Knowing how to lighten up a tough situation when appropriate is always appreciated.  Ministry is too hard to not learn how to laugh…Jesus did.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director, AMS

As iron sharpens iron,

So one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17 NASB

Is there Grass on Your Path?

Is there Grass on Your Path?

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

Years ago, I was challenged by a simple question regarding prayer, “Is there grass on your path?”

I thought about that question as I was reflecting on the recent reports from Asbury University of an Awakening which began during a chapel worship service.  For two weeks the campus experienced an outpouring of worship which was marked by spontaneity, confession, deep prayer, and a strong sense of the presence of God.  It was reminiscent of an earlier Asbury campus revival in the 1970s which was part of the Jesus Revolution movement.  People traveled from across the country and from other countries to gather at the campus to experience this time of renewal.  In response to the movement at Asbury several other college campuses began to hold their own prayer services.

While the services on campus came to an end this past week, the services have been moved to other offsite locations.  What will happen now?  Time will tell if this is a lasting and impactful Awakening or not.  But whether you are a supporter or questioner one thing cannot be diminished. When God’s people call out to him in genuine prayer, he is ready to respond.

Which brings me back to the question, “Is there grass on your path?”  The question came to me as I was reading an account of an area in Africa where the early converts to Christianity were highly committed to cultivating the discipline of daily prayer.  Each believer had their own special place of prayer outside of the village where they were able to walk their path to a place of solitude for their time of focused prayer.  Each day as they walked their footpaths created in the bush, they eventually wore a path that became a clear trail.  When grass began to grow back onto their trail another believer in the community would lovingly encourage them by saying, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!” 

Regardless of your thoughts about the events which have and continue to occur as part of the Asbury Awakening, we cannot escape the reality of God’s call to his people to pray.  The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” We are told by Paul in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing…”.  First Thessalonians was written to a group of believers who were part of the new believers reached during Paul’s journey through Thessalonica.  While the efforts resulted in reaching some with the Gospel it also created an uproar in the city which resulted in Paul being asked to leave by the cover of nightfall.  The group of new believers continued to grow but experienced challenges which Paul sought to assuage in his letters to them.  Near the end of his first letter, he records in chapter 5:16-19, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  

 All of us know what it’s like to let grass grow on our path of prayer.  We intend to stay faithful in prayer but the challenges of life and the struggles in our own hearts can cause us to wane in our life of prayer.  When we read Paul’s words to “pray without ceasing” it may seem overwhelming, but Paul is talking about an attitude of prayer that springs from a heart hungry to know God. 

 We are called to practice daily prayer, to hunger to see God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  May we be willing to allow God to bring a personal Awakening to each of our hearts as we seek to know him more and love him with all our heart, our soul, and our mind.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director ~ AMS

Praying for You and Your Church

Be assured that every minister and church in the TEBA are prayed for by name on a regular basis.  We are mindful of the daily challenge of ministering to your communities while taking care of the needs of your church families.

Who Keeps You Connected?

Who Keeps You Connected?

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

All through 2023 we are looking at how to grow in our leadership capacity.  I would like to share with you the chapter I submitted for the 2020 book, Guard Rails: 10 Vital Questions To Guide Your Ministry Journey.  It focused on the value of close personal friendships and how God uses them in our lives and our development as leaders.  I trust you will find it helpful and my prayer is if you see a gap in your “Three Circles of Solid Ministry Relationships” you will begin to ask the Lord to help you develop them in the near future.

Who keeps you connected? – The Value of Close Personal Friendships

By Roger A. Yancey, D.Min.

As Jim pulled out of the parking lot of the church, he couldn’t shake how different the day had started compared to its ending.  He had awoken that Wednesday morning with a sense of energy he always felt when he knew his sermon for Sunday was finished and he was even ahead on working on his sermon for the following Sunday as well.  The call from Pete Miller, his Chairman of Deacons to get together for coffee at the newest local downtown brew shop would be a chance to find out for himself the rave reviews he had heard about their version of his favorite caffeinated drink, the Cortado.

 When Jim entered the Café, he was surprised but glad to see Glenda Wilkins, the Chairperson of Personnel was at the counter ordering a coffee and it appeared she would be joining the conversation as well.  It occurred to Jim that this conversation must be about his upcoming 5-year anniversary and perhaps they wanted to run some ideas past him before meeting with the entire Personnel Team.  He had mentioned to Glenda several weeks ago that he was not comfortable with having too much of a focus being put on himself but decided to wait and see what they had in mind before trying to minimize their efforts.

 After a round of greetings Jim saw Pete fidget in his chair for a bit before clearing his throat and then saying in an unfamiliar tone, “Jim, we need to talk.”

 The next 45 minutes were both the longest and shortest time periods Jim could ever recall experiencing.  His mind reeled with the statements that Pete and Glenda made about his ministry at First Church and the impressions and sentiments they expressed as the appointed voices for both the congregation and his staff.

 “Unapproachable” Members were complaining they didn’t feel comfortable bringing their concerns directly to him.  They expressed earlier attempts resulted in a feeling of being corrected or ignored.

 “Unavailable” Members and staff stated Jim was often away from the office and not easily reached when decisions needed to be made or when visits to shut-ins were left undone.

  “Unaccountable” The staff in particular felt that Jim was arbitrary in his decision making and favored his own projects over their ministry needs.  They saw Jim as drum major of a one-man band and everyone else was expected to march in time with his parade.

 “Unconsiderate” Jim knew this wasn’t a word but he was too much a preacher to not alliterate.  Church members, church leadership, and again, his “faithful” (Jim was thinking fitful) staff had shared several ongoing encounters where careless and hurtful words had been spoken by Jim that resulted in wounded hearts.  They all expressed that they knew Jim was a “kidder” but the sense of the underlying sarcasm outweighed any humorous value.

 When Pete and Glenda finished talking, they got up to leave while telling Jim to be ready to meet after the Wednesday activities jointly with the Personnel Committee and the Deacon Leadership to determine a way forward so his future ministry could be ensured at First Church.  They also directed him to not return to the church office until after they met that night so he wouldn’t make the staff uncomfortable as they were all aware of the meeting that morning and the one that evening as well.  As Pete said, “Perhaps it would be best for Jim to take a day or two to reflect on what he needed to address before making additional contact with his staff.”

 When Jim left the downtown area, he found himself driving down one of the many country roads that entwined around the town.  His reeling mind ached to find some semblance to the words he had heard versus the life he thought he was experiencing as the pastor of the church.  While he could see kernels of truth in many things, they had spoken to him it seemed to be more of a tinker-toy connection of a web of instances instead of an actual reality that was substantive.

 He wanted to talk with someone.  But who?

 Jim knew that if he called his wife Kathy and let her know what had happened that morning she would be devastated.  They had just had the staff and their families over to their home a few weeks earlier and nothing seemed amiss.  That was part of what was so puzzling and hurtful about this whole thing.  Why had no one spoken to him directly?

 He knew he needed to talk this out with someone.

 Jim’s thoughts drifted back to his seminary days more than a decade ago when he would gather each Tuesday at noon with his friends Brent, Chase, and Doug.  All of them were 2 to 3 years into their first pastorate and they would compare notes, share stories, seek counsel, and pray for each other.  There was nothing he couldn’t share with those guys and those conversations were a source of strength that had got him through some rough patches in his first pastorate and even was a safe place to hurt when he and Kathy had experienced two miscarriages before the birth of their daughter Sarah and later her brother Samuel. 

 But that was more than 15 years ago and the circumstances of ministry had caused the drifting away of those close relationships.  For a while, Brent and Chase had reached out to him but he found it hard to keep up with them.  Eventually, they quit talking altogether though he would get an email on occasion from Chase who now served as a Director of Missions in a neighboring state. 

 Life had taken its toll with the pressures Jim experienced as he left seminary to go to a new ministry location 1,000 miles away to start a new church followed by his coming to First Church with its prime location, growing population, and his first real fulltime staff to lead.  Growth had come and with it the challenge of trying to meet expectations and capture increasing opportunities. 

 He had a growing ministry with expanding responsibilities in a church that had doubled in attendance since he arrived.  But as Jim found himself turning around on a dead-end of a country lane it occurred to him that when he needed a friend the most, he didn’t really have anyone that he was comfortable calling. 

 Oh, he had people he could call but no one other than his wife Kathy who really knew his heart and could be trusted with the pain that was now deeply lodged within it.  More out of desperation than desire Jim sent Chase a text asking Chase to let him know when he could call to talk with him.

 Jim was surprised when his phone rang within five minutes of sending the text and a voice from the past said, “hello friend, how are you?”

 Suddenly Jim felt like he was back at that table in the seminary cafeteria with a cup of coffee in one hand and his heart in the other.  Over the next two hours, Jim poured out his soul to Chase about the meeting in the coffee shop, his hurt, his frustration, and his embarrassment that he had neglected keeping up with their friendship.  While Chase shared with Jim many things that would become the foundation of Jim’s resetting his ministry footing at First Church there was one concept he shared with Jim that became foundational in Jim’s personal growth as a pastor and a man God could use more fully.

Chase called it the “Three Circles of Solid Ministry Relationships”.  Chase explained that everyone in ministry needed to develop three kinds of relationships so they could navigate and grow in their personal ministry journey.  Like the legs of a three-legged stool, each circle was needed for personal stability.

 The first circle is the Ministry Relationships.  Everyone needs to identify and connect with people who are skilled in their ministry vocation that can help us grow in our area of calling.  These people are invaluable in helping us understand different and fresh ways of doing ministry, so we continue to be challenged and not get stuck in routine duties.  Whether as mentors, coaches, or challengers in our lives they drive us forward to be all God called us to be.

 The second circle is the Journey Relationships.  These relationships develop in the journey of our ministry where we connect with people inside and outside of the walls of our church who become important and dear to us.  While these relationships can be challenging at times there is a unique strength found in connecting well with our people and loving them even through possible disappointments. 

 The third circle is the Heart Relationships.  We need people in our lives who really know our hearts, our joys, and our sorrows.  Friends who we know without question love us and want the best for our lives.  People who see our lives are a reflection of God’s glory and have walked with us through the reality of the dark nights of our soul.  Friends who can ask us hard questions and speak into our lives truths that cause us to rethink our direction.  These are people you can call at 2:00 a.m. and spill out the hurt of your soul without them being more concerned about their losing sleep when you think you’re losing your mind. 

While this is the smallest circle in number of people in comparison to the other two circles it’s the one that can have the strongest impact in shaping us into who we will become.

 Chase described the “Three Circles of Solid Ministry Relationships” were not separated but often overlapping and interlocking circles of influence in our lives.

Chase asked Jim to take time over the next few days and identify people God had put into his life that might fit in each of the three circles and to make note of which circle might be lacking.  They agreed they would talk later that week on how he might go about the discovery of who God was putting into the circles of his life.

 One thing Jim quickly realized was that he already had someone other than Kathy (his wife and best friend) that he would welcome in his “Heart” circle and he was grateful God had used his moment of challenge to draw him back into his friendship with Chase.

___________________________________________

Perhaps like Jim you know what it is to find yourself in a situation where you really need a friend.  You may consider yourself to have many “friends” but you don’t really have a friend whom you can be totally open with without fear of rejection or judgment.  

 You might have tried to develop those deep friendships in the past and didn’t sense it was reciprocated or valued in the same way.  Maybe you resonate with the story of the group of ministers who joined a prayer circle and began to share with one another their personal struggles.

 “I struggle with gambling,” said one, “I struggle with anger,” said another, “I struggle with lust,” said the one to his side.  So summoning his courage the minister shared he struggled with “coarse language” only to hear the final minister say, “I struggle with gossip and I have to get out of here and talk to someone.”

 Whenever we consider Confessional Relationships we must do so within a construct of Wisdom and Discernment but to fail to develop them is to position yourself to experience the reality of Proverbs 16:18  “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

 So what do you do now?  How do you ensure that you don’t live out your ministry in self-imposed isolation?

Consider taking the following steps as a beginning point.

  1. Prayerfully list your three circles and identify whom God has brought into your life in each area. You might find in the Ministry Circle that you want to consider just including your top 10 instead of listing everyone possible.  Limit your list to those who are ready to invest in you and help you grow in your ministry.  Do the same for your Journey Circle and finally your Heart Circle. 
  1. Identify where the gaps are in each circle – which circle is lacking (or absent) of people who would make up the circle.
  1. Began to pray specifically for God to add people to your “Three Circles of Solid Ministry Relationships” as he sees fit. Remember, friends are made they don’t just appear.
  1. Ask yourself where you might fit in the circles of someone else’s life. Is there someone who is trying to connect with you that you haven’t made time for?  Are you open to God planting you in someone else’s life just as you need to have others planted into yours?

In Kingdom service,

The Emotionally Healthy Leader

The Emotionally Healthy Leader

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

January marks a season of beginnings.  Resolutions are made and good intentions abound, but most are discarded within the first 45 days.  I am not going to ask you to make a resolution, but I wonder if you are willing to accept a challenge to grow in your leadership capacity in 2023.  Throughout 2023 we will be exploring resources and ways to be the type of servant leader God wants us to be.

It all begins with a life built upon and fully yielded to Christ.  To be effective as leaders we need to be sure we monitor, grow, and mature in our emotional health.

In this month of beginnings, we start by asking ourselves a simple question, “Am I an emotionally healthy leader or do I lead out of an unhealthy emotional mindset?”  A great resource in answering this question is found in Peter Scazzero’s book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader.  Peter Scazzero, served for 26 years as the Senior Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York a church he founded and now serves as the Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large has written several bestselling books including The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and Emotionally Healthy Discipleship.

In Chapter 1, Scazzero identifies “The emotionally unhealthy leader is someone who operates in a continuous state of emotional and spiritual deficit, lacking emotional maturity and a “being with God” sufficient to sustain their “doing for God.”   These leaders have emotional and spiritual deficits impacting every part of their lives which include a lack of awareness of their feelings, weaknesses, limits, and empathy.  Their lack of emotional health impacts their leadership, the people they lead, and every aspect of their lives.  They are often doing more than their spiritual capacity can carry and lack a healthy work and sabbath rhythm.  As Wayne Cordeiro shared, “They are leading on empty.”

 

“As a result, emotionally unhealthy leaders skim when building their ministries. Rather than following the apostle Paul’s example of building with materials that will last—gold, silver, and costly stones (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)—they settle for something like wood, straw, and mud. They build with inferior materials that will not stand the test of a generation, let alone the fire of final judgment. In the process, they obscure the beauty of Christ they say they want the whole world to see. No well-intentioned leader would set out to lead this way, but it happens all the time.”

 Most of the book is given over to the development of the Inner Life and the Outer Life.  Using the familiar motif of a tree, he talks to the reader about the Inner Life showing itself below ground while the Outer Life is manifested above ground.

The Inner Life

Face Your Shadows. “Your shadow is the accumulation of untamed emotions, less-than-pure motives and thoughts that, while largely unconscious, strongly influence and shape your behaviors. It is the damaged but mostly hidden version of who you are.” The journey into looking into the real impact of our past, of acknowledging and dealing with emotional hurts, and understanding the influences which have shaped us can be a painful but liberating step toward wholeness.

 Lead Out of Your Marriage or Singleness.  While our primary calling/vocation is to follow Jesus, we do so within our Marriage or Singleness which “must inform our self-understanding and the outworking of our leadership.”  If married, our spouse cannot be relegated to a secondary position but must know they are our covenantal partner we deeply love.

 Slow Down for Loving Union.  “Bearing fruit requires slowing down enough to give Jesus direct access to every aspect of our lives and our leadership…The key question is to what extent is the door of our heart open to him?”  “Making the necessary changes to slow down your life for loving union with Jesus is a countercultural, prophetic stance.”

 Practice Sabbath Delight.  “Biblical Sabbath is a twenty-four-hour block of time in which we stop work, enjoy rest, practice delight, and contemplate God…the fact that Sabbath happens weekly means that it has a rhythm, one that stands in stark contrast to the typical rhythm to the world around us.”

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The Outer Life

Planning and Decision Making.  “Emotionally healthy planning and decision making begins with an assumption…that as fallen human beings we have a tendency to develop hardened hearts.”  If you are not concerned about developing a hardened heart it probably already has.  To safeguard our hearts, we need to “define success as radically doing God’s will, creating a space for heart preparation, praying for prudence, and looking for God inside our limits.”

Culture and Team Building.  “Creating an emotionally healthy culture and building a healthy

team are among the primary tasks for every leader, whether that leader is a senior pastor … and the task for Christian leaders is even more demanding because the kind of culture and teams we create are to be radically different than those of the world.” This includes understanding our team’s spiritual development, creating a healthy culture, and true biblical team building.

Power and Wise Boundaries.  “Navigating the issue of power is a true test of both character and leadership. We’re more than willing to talk about the abuse of power when news breaks about a scandal in someone else’s life, but the minefields surrounding the use of power are rarely acknowledged … This silence leads to consequences and significant harm, with the potential not only to wipe out a lifetime of good work but to undermine our ministries for years to come.” This chapter will provide the reader with the content and context to work through these challenging issues.

Endings and New Beginnings.  “Like the ending of the seasons, we experience leadership endings with those we serve. In fact, I would say leaders experience even more endings and losses than the average person. Such losses may span a continuum from large to small, but a loss is a loss, and each one leaves its mark on us. To a greater or lesser degree, these endings drain our energy and diminish our ability to rise for the next challenge. They knock us off balance—at least for a time.” As leaders, we navigate these waters with an understanding of the hope of Christ.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader is a book that will challenge and increase your leadership capacity.  I pray in 2023 you will become more and more the Christ follower you have been called to be and serve his church with ever increasing effectiveness.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director / AMS

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

 Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

Astros winning the world series

Astros winning the world series

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

With the Astros winning the World Series, those of us who are fans are grateful for a tight series with the Phillies.  The teams both had amazing playoff games and are evenly matched in many ways.   Even those who aren’t big baseball fans enjoyed the commitment these two teams have played with.

So in the spirit of the World Series I would like to offer what can make a baseball team great – and corresponding lessons that would be helpful to a church staff or team of leaders.  Frankly, there is no shortage of opinions, articles or analysis of what makes a great team. I did read one article by Arthur Raise of particular interest.  As he stated,Baseball is a team sport and every player and team needs to be committed and passionate about the game.”  To succeed every team whether major league, minor league, or local needs the following:

1.  A team spirit and commitment to the game. The team must work as a single unit and be devoted to the game. They must live and breathe baseball.

2. The team must have a good support system of families, team owner, sponsors, the coach, school and college authorities and more need to understand the psyche of the team and create a strong impermeable support system.

3. The team must have a good coach who will lead the team in every way. The coach is the backbone of the team and needs to be tough and yet loving. He or she must care for the team and its every player. The coach must understand the team and its members better than he understands himself or herself.

4. The team must be devoted to the sport and yet understand that there is a world beyond baseball. So, every member must simultaneously prepare for life beyond baseball. Be trained in skills and have qualifications that will allow the player to live a fulfilled life after baseball.

5. Great focus must be placed on balanced nutrition and mental strength training. A strong mind and body makes a great baseball player. Team training must include aspects of health, nutrition, and mental strength. The team must have a balanced diet, a balanced exercise routine that includes breathing exercises and meditation techniques.

6. While winning can be the goal every team must play for sheer joy and each player must focus on his strengths and work out his weaknesses. The team must become an impregnable fort so that the opponents can never use kinks in the armor.”

So how would these apply to a Staff Team or a Team of Servant Leaders in a church Family?  Same principles with a bit of adjustment would make them more applicable:

 1. A team spirit and commitment to the Gospel. The team must work as a single unit and be devoted Christ followers. They must live and breath to bring glory to God. 

2. The team must have a good support system of church families, church partners and supporters who join with them in fulfilling the Mission of the Church and the fulfillment of God’s unique intention for them. 

3. The team must have a genuine Pastor who will lead provide healthy servant leadership. The pastor is a critical part of the team and needs to be tough and yet loving. He must care for the team and every member.

4. The team must be devoted to the Church and yet understand that there is a world beyond the Church.  Work-Life balance is critical – all work and no play makes for an unhealthy staff or team of leaders.  We need time to recharge, be with our families and have a life that is not fully defined by what happens within the Church.

5. Great focus must be placed on balanced nutrition and mental strength training.  We are told to love God with all of our soul, mind and body.  A strong mind and body makes us more effective and gives us stamina for the long-term.

6. We already won – Jesus saved us.  But we are called to follow Him for the sheer joy of serving Him.  Each team member must focus on their strengths and work out their weaknesses. The team must become an impregnable fort so that the enemy can never use kinks in the armor.”

 

Maybe you would agree – a great baseball team might have something to teach us about being an effective team.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director/Associational Mission Strategist