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Winter 2007 Rapport: From the Leadership Files

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Building a Team-Based Ministry

by Paul F. Martinez
(D.Min. 2004),
AGTS Director of
Development.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV). Throughout the Bible, relation-ships are the most essential facet of both humanity and deity. They are at the heart of the biblical revelation of God to man.

Leadership in the ministry is complex and multifaceted. A minister working alone can face discouragement and self-doubt stemming from isolation. In their book, The Wisdom of Teams, Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas Smith state, “A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

Jesus set an example as he built a community of disciples who affected change in the entire Greco-Roman world. By forging relationships with key disciples, Jesus mentored and empowered them to accomplish significant tasks.

Patrick Lencioni, in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, notes that teams face challenges such as lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of com-mitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. However, a ministry team can overcome those challenges and function effectively if it understands the team is more than a group of individuals working together.

Teams often go through several stages, commonly known as the forming, storming, norming and performing stages. When forming, teams are excited about the possibilities ahead. In the storming stage, expectations are often found to be different than reality—this is typically a critical stage where dysfunctions must be addressed. When norming occurs, teams persevere through the storms to accomplish their goals. In the performing stage, the team realizes that it is greater than the sum of its individual parts and it can serve more effectively as a team than as individuals working separately. By focusing our efforts, we can build teams to lead healthy, effective ministry in the kingdom of God.

Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 10:33 AM

 

 

 
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