Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Visionary Team

"In order to think big, you need to have vision, and it's impossible to separate vision from leadership. Beyond that, it's impossible to separate leadership from teamwork. there are no 'lone rangers' in effective ministry."

The first step is having vision. Whatever it is that God laid in your heart to do is big - I know my "dream" for what God has for me (and my church) is BIG. It doesn't seem something I could accomplish by myself. It doesn't seem like anything that would happen any time soon, either.

The beauty is that I'm NOT supposed to accomplish it by myself. I trust God has given the same vision to other people that will unite with me and work together. It's supposed to be vision + teamwork. I need the team that I'm working with to have vision.

Vision means seeing what God wants done as the end result, and not seeing what is there now. Vision is walking by faith and not by sight. And vision is believing bigger than the budget, the size of the congregation, or the talents/resources already available.

So as a team member, I need to have vision + faith. When everyone in the team accomplishes this, we can start moving forward towards great things. My prayer is that my church may grab a hold of God's vision and walk towards it by faith... no nay-saying, no criticizing, no bringing up the size of the obstacles in the way. Just praying and doing whatever we can to fulfill that vision.

Lord, help us not to give up as a team, even though it feels difficult right now. Help us to believe in You.

"We all have strengths and weaknesses. We need to play to our strengths, and we need others around us who can cover for our weaknesses. If all of the disciples had been like Simon Peter, no one could've been the leader. It takes the quiet disciples as well as the outspoken ones to make a team that impacts the world... If any one man could do it all, it was Jesus, but He chose to use a team."

We can't do anything on our own or by ourselves because God designed His church to function within the body; 1 Corinthians 12 shows us that we are not all eyes, hands, or feet - but working together we have all that's needed. Pastor Catt wrote a lot in this chapter about staff members that wanted recognition, titles, attention, or honor... they didn't fit in with the ministry team in the long-haul. All of our individual motivation needed to be based and focused on God getting the glory. Was He praised? Great! Was He exalted? Hoorah! That's all that has to matter to us. It's difficult, because we can feel under-appreciated... we sometimes WANT others to know what we did. But Scripture tells us also to die to self and live for Christ.

And finally, something crucial that Sherwood has in practice that we need to implement, is that they all cheered for each other... People stepped in and took over the spots that the crew working on "Facing the Giants" were responsible for, to free them up for that ministry. They cheered for each other. One victory for a certain ministry team means victory for the entire church. We need to be like that!

If the youth ministry is on fire, we need to praise God and cheer them on! If God meets a need in the children's nursery, we need to praise God and cheer them on! It doesn't matter if it's not what we are personally involved in. The greater picture, the true vision from God's perspective is that if any part of the church has won, the whole church has something to rejoice about. I think this crosses denominational barriers more than anything. A victory for the Baptist church is a victory towards the Kingdom of God, "yupee!" Even if we are pentecostal. Any success in the Kingdom of God, where ever it may happen, is a victory for us as individuals as well... only if we are Kingdom-minded.

Let's expand our vision - let's expand our faith in what God wants to accomplish in our Jerusalem and see how it fits into the big Kingdom picture!

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