The Rewards, Struggles, and Demands of Ministry Teams.
I love being a part of a team! The joy of working together for a common goal. The encouragement from others who want you to succeed because that makes us succeed. The cheering on and celebrating when we have victories. The coming together and refocusing when we have defeats. The connectivity and relational love that is developed by workng through hard stuff together. I could go on and on about the rewards of teamwork and everyone buying into the team concept. You can see these rewards on championship teams in sports. The joy and celebration that we made it. That all the stuff we went through was worth it: all the hours, the sacrifice, the pain, the working together, learning one another, confrontations, and adapting to make things flow. These things make the victory that much sweeter. We value the victory, but also gain a new appreciation for the struggle, for the lessons learned in failure, and most importantly those that walked with us hand in hand to victory.
Unfortunately in ministry like sports teams there is an undercurrent of mindsets, perspectives, and heart attitudes that go cross culture to developing a winning team. Let’s look at some of the struggles and see if we can eliminate the stuff in us that makes us bad teammates. Just forget for a moment who is on your team that you think is the problem. Team begins with individuals taking responsibility for their role and managing their heart. We can talk a lot about structure and ways of doing things that foster a team atmosphere but let’s focus on what we can change right now.
1. What is my motivation? This question seems simple at first glance but really takes heart felt reflection, Holy Spirit revelation, and examining why I do what I do. I believe in reward systems. It’s biblical! Hebrews 11:6 describes it as an intricate part of faith that pleases God. You must know that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Any belief that stripes away the rewards of pursuing God and His ways is rooted in religion and false humility. I say this first because we want those on our team to serve, walk humbly, live sacrificially, deny self, crucify flesh, and lay down their lives for the Kingdom of God. But if we strip away the reality of the rewards in this life and the life to come in our attempt to squash self-ambition, pride, and entitlement mindsets, we will create passionless prisoners who live out of obligation. Our motivation must flow out of the great love that He first loved us. This love was displayed so extravagantly on the cross to bring us into right relationship with God. This love is more than an act but is God. He must be embraced, valued, cherished, and reverentially feared! Our motivation must flow out of our relationship with Him to display the love that the Holy Spirit has shed abroad in our hearts. If our motivation derives outside of that relational love, then watch out. We will be building things that are temporal and earthly that will not stand the fire of God’s eternal judgment. As you examine your heart and invite Holy Spirit to help, I encourage you to meditate on 1st John. He lays out simple yet profound truth that will set you on the proper foundation. No seriously right now put this article down and go spend time in 1 John. The Holy Spirit will speak so much more to you than I could write. Ask the question as you read, “What is my Motivation?” Is it flowing out of my love for God and my love for people?
I am going to stop here and post the remainder of the article in a couple of weeks. Dig into I John and when you return we will pick up on a couple more areas we can grow in and look at the demands both good and bad that are placed on you as a team. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future articles.