I'm initiating this post because of the many phone calls and e-traffic I receive each and everyday concerning Ministry Team failure. Yes, a successful local or global church must operate using the TEAM concept. I get countless calls from Ministers, Apostles, Pastors, Bishops, Elders, Evangelists, Overseers and some that can’t see, asking my advice on some critical decision making issues within their ministries. During my many years having been and athelete we were always told that there were no (I's) in TEAM, and I also discovered that there are no (U's) either. It takes more than one person to be classified as a TEAM. Many ministries are operating with 50% committed team players or less and the rest of folks are just involved. There could be many reasons why many churches, especially in the U.S.A. are considered as only (pretty good) churches by the voices in their communities. Great churches are not defined as great simply because of the size of thier congregation, but rather by the positive effect it has on it's community. Having retired after serving 20yrs in the U.S. Army, I have been blessed to understand the value of Team Development. In the Army's Soldier Team Development manual, there are so many principles that would provide Christian leaders a greater understanding of the steps needful in building an effective, efficient, and maturing congregation or ministry team. I've applied those principals and have been very successful wherever I've served in ministry.

Here are some of the major conditions that undermine teamwork in a combat unit. Let's compare this to the Church.

1. Continuous operations = 5+ services weekly = (Family Stress). If we're honest, most of the saints were taught that if you missed one service out of those 5-7 nights or days you were sinning. (And on your way to a Devils Hell!)

2. Boredom = Same songs + Zero activities = Same old results. It’s a shame that even after the writer in Psalms says, “Sing unto the Lord a NEW song”, brothers and sisters are considered worldly if they don’t sing or praise like the older saints. And don't let the music have a nice smooth or urban sound Hmmmmmmm.

3. Casualties = People who backslide = Causes a Church Strength Decline. Why do we speak negatively about our brothers and sisters who have slid backward versus pursuing them with love and compassion like the Sheppard Jesus spoke of in our bible?

4. Enemy Actions = Devil is always in attack mode = Immediate deceleration in individual and collective ministry momentum. One of the saddest excuses that we use to justiLIE why we cannot support ministry is using the obvious statement; “You know the Devil is busy”. Every blood washed believer knows that, so there is no reason to continue using that saying.

5. Rumors = Character Assassins in the Church = A Massive Growth Seizure. It’s amazing how we’ll entertain and energize a rumor quicker than we’ll defend the apparent victim of that rumor. Am I my brother’s keeper? (Not if you allow someone to tell you a rumor from start to finish that they heard but didn’t witness)

What are some ideas that you are willing to share that will assist in building greater ministry teams? We don’t need another Mega Church but we definitely need Mega Service in our communities.

Bro. Marc L. Stratton

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Comment by Michelle Y Stewart on January 17, 2009 at 6:57pm
Agreeing w/the comments thus far. There's a mentality that if your ministry shares with another, then they could steal something. When a sheep has been assigned to a fold, if that sheep leaves out of the will of God, then that sheepfold ought to pray them back in....if they refuse, move on b/c God got that one. If the sheep leaves, assess if it is the will of God. Some are there to test the fold via all sorts of schemes. We must remember that the devil is still on God's payroll. If he had to ask God to trouble job, then believe me, he asking God to trouble a sheepfold. But the blog is on team development. We don't pay much attention to Ps 133 where it says it the unity, God has commanded the blessing. Everyone think they are right in everything and very few are willing to admit their short comings.

I like to look at it like a team of doctors. The patient has a myriad of problems and really the general surgeon alone cannot handle it. You need the urologist, the gynoclolgist, the psychiatrist, the gastroentorologist, the proctologist, the orthopedic, the neurologist, the oncologist, the pathologist, the lab tech, the nurses, the pharmacist......and - what is wrong with the patient? The Master physician knows. He just uses us and the skills He equipped us with to carry out His work. When God tells someone to start a ministry, there is a particular arena he or she will operate in more than others. It doesn't mean they're any greater but that's what that vessel - i.e. that minister was designed for & will be used for by God. We often preach know your purpose. When you don't you're can be easily misguided. Understanding your particular purpose as God ordained before you were a seed in your father's loins, will help to alleviate the conflicts & internal struggles. Because we are all members in the Body of Christ, we must always remind one another and ourselves that if I'm the tip of the pinky finger then be the tip of the pinky finger. When I try to be the thumb and God created me for His purpose to be the tip of the pinky finger, I mess the whole hand up....

So what's my big idea for ministry team development? Know your purpose in Christ Jesus.....stick to your purpose and thank God for the other guys purpose. Encourage yourself and the other minstry in their respective purposes. After knowing your purpose, get an understanding of it and how to function in whatever the assigned sheepfold God has you in.....then, as a unit, be willing to let go & let God and work with other ministries whom (we pray) know their purpose and are functioning in the assigned sheepfold their in.
Comment by Marc L. Stratton on December 30, 2008 at 10:25pm
God bless you even the more man and woman of God. I appreaciate your words of wisdom not just on this blog but what you have shared with so many over the years. I will continue to add more as I'm moved to do so. Please continue to pray for us as we will do the same for you.

Bro. Stratton
Comment by Minister Ronald & Sister Sylvia Allen on December 26, 2008 at 9:28pm
I have to agree with what everyone has said thus far. The biggest thing and feel that is most important is that we need to be reminded is that its not just about us, its about HIM. Always has been and always will be. We need to be committed to the service of the Lord and stop trying to make "OUR MINISTRY" happen. If the Lord has promised us anything we need to be reminded that HE is able to complete the work that HE started in us. Our part in it is to keep ourselves available, follow HIS leading and trust HIM. I have been encouraged and inspired by all I have read. Thanks for the invite to the network Brother Stratton. God Bless
Comment by Marc L. Stratton on December 16, 2008 at 11:47pm
Thanks for your rich input man of God.
Comment by Sharlyne Rucker on December 5, 2008 at 9:53pm
You are exactly right the church has become a fashion show to the world instead of what we were called to do and that’s reconciling men back unto God. I personally think the church need to do an AAR (After Action Review) and ask God what we are doing wrong. There is a question that needs to be address in the body of Christ and that is am I my brothers keeper. Even the world as we sometime likes to call them take care of their own. Bro. Lineard D. Rucker

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