Old rule: Ministry depends on the leader
New rule: Ministry depends on the team
The days when one man could build a church alone are gone – it takes a team. This is most evident in church planting. In the US, research shows that 60% of new churches close within 5 years – this has led to new approaches and more strategic developments involving sending in a team, with a full-time pastor, admin assistant, worship leader with musical ability and a children’s/youth worker. These latter posts are often part-time. The inclusion of a second full-timer specialising in youth work, music or outreach significantly increases long-term success and though initially expensive proves less costly in the long run.
Under the old rule the pastor functioned as a ‘prima donna’ of the church. Other leaders were simply an extension of that pastor. Under the new rule the team recruiter and team builder is the order of the day. Blessed is the church with leaders who are adept at recruiting and motivating the very best!
There will be a strong theology of spiritual gifts based on Eph 4:11-12 and 1 Cor 12-14 and a belief that every Christian has equal worth in the church and that each person has individual but interdependent functions. The leader acts more like a coach or orchestra conductor than a boss/owner/star. This type of leader gets great satisfaction out of the successes of others and doesn’t make it appear as if he is the reason for success.
Once again, I would prefer to say both are equal in importance. I totally agree that it is all about team, no one man or woman can cover all the bases, one man ministry is dead. However John Maxwell, writing on what he calls the principle of the Lid says, ‘The team will only function if the team leader has the gift and capacity to lead the team effectively.’ (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell – Thomas Nelson, 2007)
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