We hear it said often, "There's no "I" in team." Yes, that's a fact, but unfortunately some clichés are said so much they lose their power. We know team means working together effectively for the common good, a joint project with shared vision and goals. But the question is; do you really care about working together for a team goal–especially in ministry? Do you really have the team on your mind? Are you really excited about what your team is about to accomplish? Are you thinking about how hard your team has worked to save souls? Or are you more excited about all the praise you'll receive at the end of day? Are you wondering when the current leader will step down so you can take over? Are you happy that the new person with the MBA in Leadership Structure, who kept trying to join the team, finally left the church?
My first experience in leadership was negative, to say the least. The team I was on operated under one person who did not relinquish power. When our family moved to a new church, I had no desire to meet the leaders because I assumed they'd be no different than the leaders in my former church. I remembered thinking, "Great, more leadership directors–I'll make sure to keep my distance." God has a purpose and a plan for many of the people in church as he uses us to reach different people. But unfortunately, instead of being used in God's kingdom, we find bickering and divisions as leaders are battling among themselves for position. Instead of being aware of hurting people in church, and putting together a solid team to meet their needs, the priority revolves around leadership status. God's kingdom–the ultimate goal–is lost in a team of self-serving men and women looking out for themselves.
The Quarterback Controversy
My husband loves football, and one year his favorite team had what's called a quarterback controversy because the starting quarterback became injured halfway through the season. While most teams begin to struggle when the starting quarterback goes down, this team continued to win with their backup and eventually went to the Super Bowl. However, prior to making it to the Super Bowl, the media was fixated on the idea that this team had not one, but two great quarterbacks.
While the media might have been fascinated with this story, there was nothing fascinating about it. In John C. Maxwell's book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, he says, "Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone." Great leaders understand the importance of team-building to achieve great results. That football team went to the Super Bowl that year because the leaders, or coaching staff, didn't rely on one person. Is God's kingdom the Super Bowl in ministry? If it is, why isn't team-building a major component in ministry? Why is it we usually find one person as the leader, dictating, instead of training for the vast array of people who need to know Jesus?