A progressive strategy for any congregation is to encourage the development of Bible-based church teamwork. This type of strategy is needed to guard against exhaustion and burnout.
The sharing of ministry responsibilities is strongly supported by scripture.
- Psalm 133:1 ~It is good and pleasant when God’s people live together in peace!
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ~Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
- Proverbs 27:17 ~As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp.
- 3 John 1:8 ~We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
- 1 Corinthians 3:9 ~ For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
- Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.”
- Ephesians 4:16 ~ from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 ~For example, the body is one unit and yet has many parts. As all the parts form one body, so it is with Christ. By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether we are Jewish or Greek, slave or free, God gave all of us one Spirit to drink.
- Philippians 2:3-4 ~Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
- Romans 12:10 ~Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.
- Hebrews 10:24-25 ~Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.
- Exodus 4:10-15 ~But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant because I am slow and hesitant in speech.” Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, “Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you. You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both you and him to speak and will teach you both what to do.
- Romans 15:1 ~ We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weaknesses, and not please only ourselves.
- Exodus 18:17-21 ~But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “This isn’t the right way to do this. It is too much work for you to do alone. You cannot do this job by yourself. It wears you out. And it makes the people tired too. Now, listen to me. Let me give you some advice. And I pray God will be with you. You should continue listening to the problems of the people. And you should continue to speak to God about these things. You should explain God’s laws and teachings to the people. Warn them not to break the laws. Tell them the right way to live and what they should do. But you should also choose some of the people to be judges and leaders. “Choose good men you can trust—men who respect God. Choose men who will not change their decisions for money. Make these men rulers over the people. There should be rulers over 1000 people, 100 people, 50 people, and even over ten people.
- Proverbs 11:14 ~Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
- Ephesians 4:11-12 ~And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah
- 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 ~The evidence of the Spirit’s presence is given to each person for the common good of everyone. The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak with wisdom. The same Spirit gives another person the ability to speak with knowledge.
- 1 Peter 4:8-10 ~Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins. Welcome each other as guests without complaining. Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others.
- Romans 15:5-6 ~Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
- Galatians 5:14 ~For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
- 2 Corinthians 1:24 ~But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.
- Ezra 3:9-10 ~The workers at the Temple of God were supervised by Jeshua with his sons and relatives, and Kadmiel and his sons, all descendants of Hodaviah. They were helped in this task by the Levites of the family of Henadad. When the builders completed the foundation of the LORD’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the LORD, just as King David had prescribed.
- Mark 6:7 ~And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.
- Ephesians 4:32 ~Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.
There are many other ministry team examples in scripture. The example of Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 18) and the example of Jesus in the New Testament when he was recruiting his disciples are good biblical examples of teamwork.
Here are 15 facts that church teamwork can be created by recognizing:
- The relationships between people.
- The absence of team ministry.
- A careful evaluation of how responsibilities are distributed.
- How much of the work of the local church is placed upon each member?
- A strategy that will help lead a church to adopt a team ministry approach.
- The first strategy will begin with an analysis of terminology and titles that are used by the pastor and congregation to define who they are and what they are trying to accomplish.
- How the church cares for those who work as leaders within the fellowship?
- What are the standards of Sabbath rest, vacation, recreation, and downtime for team members?
- What obstacles the church and pastoral leadership face in leading the church into a team ministry approach?
- How the pastor feels about sharing ministry responsibilities? (Does he refuse to include others in ministry? Does the congregation expect the pastor to carry most of the tasks of the church or does the pastor expect the congregation to carry most of the load of ministry? These are very important questions.)
- Team ministry is not something new, and Scripture gives guidance on how to deal with the issue of shared ministry. Leaders in the Old and New Testament used this approach to ministry effectively.
- A strategy that addresses team ministry through the preaching/teaching opportunities of the pastor and other leaders within the congregation.
- A connection between burnout and the absence of “team ministry.”
- Redefining the fellowship through its use of theology and the titles given to those who serve (example: Team Leader as opposed to Committee Director).
- Clear terminologies must be used within the fellowship to define what the congregation hopes to accomplish.
The church must understand the drawbacks and dangers of “solo ministry.”
The overall goal in developing church teamwork is to develop a ministry strategy that will involve the largest segment of the fellowship as possible and create a shared ministry that will lead to success, health, and endurance.