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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --
Author: Jim Wies <jimmy@edify-ministries.org> http://www.edify-ministries.org
Editor: Teresa Seputis

The Dynamics of Team Ministry

by Jim Wies

Lesson 1

Foundational Concepts & Values Regarding Team Ministry

This series explores the scriptural aspects and dynamics of team ministry. It also gives pointers and guidelines for effective team ministry. This series will help you to cooperate with God's plan, which is for believers to work together as a corporate whole rather than as individual parts. It does not matter what level of personal involvement you have in prophetic ministry, you will gain by understanding that God's plan for the body of Christ to work effectively together. These principles of corporateness and teamwork apply to much more than just the prophetic. They apply to numerous levels of ministry and relationship: from serving on a prophetic presbytery team in a local church to cooperating with other leaders in the formation of international trans-local associations, alliances and networks, or even to making your marriage work better.

God has been speaking to the body of Christ about the principle of "team", of working together effectively. We see it over and over in scripture. And we see it in corporate prophetic words which target the body of Christ at large. Here is an example, a recent prophetic word given by Ras Robinson, Ft. Worth, Texas, in November of 2001:

"I am connecting hearts." Says the Lord. "These are the days when I am stirring My people to come into relationship with one another in a deeper way. Just as I put David and Jonathan, Paul and Timothy, Paul and Silas, Paul and Barnabas together, I am joining hearts today as well. I want you to learn to work as a team (My whole body functioning as I designed it). I can do more through you when you are teaming with others. It takes all of My body working together to accomplish My ultimate purposes. 'Davids' need 'Jonathans' and 'Pauls' need their team members. 'Jonathans' and team members need their 'Davids' and 'Pauls'."

"So humble yourself and submit to My voice of leadership within. Listen, for I am speaking to you right now about all this. There are friends who stick closer than brothers. These friends love at all times, good and bad. Come into relationship. I am connecting hearts". Says the Lord."

-- Given by Ras Robinson, November 2001, Ft. Worth TX.

"Relationship" is foundational to our lives as Christians and as ministers. As the body of Christ, we are instructed to learn to appreciate the diversity and giftings that God has placed in every believer. The eye can no longer say "I have no need of you." And the head cannot say to the feet "I have no need of you" (I Cor 12:12-24). We will bring great blessing to the local church and the larger Body of Christ as we learn the value of team ministry and understand the dynamics that will make us effective as team members.

Team Ministry 'Modeled' By Jesus

Even within the Godhead, we see that God Himself exemplifies the working of a team. We see His teamwork from the very beginning of creation.

John 1:1-4 states: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." We see this further clarified in the original account in Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

The preceding scriptures show us that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit all participated together in creation. We also see teamwork in how the Godhead designed mankind -- by making man and woman, the first "team." God designed and intended for us to be in relationship from the very start. In fact, the only thing that God claimed was "not good" in His creation (as told in Genesis 1&2) was that it was not good for man to be alone. That is why He created a partner for him.

There are other demonstrations of the principle of teamwork built within the Creator's creation. For example, multiplication and reproduction takes a cooperative effort. The study of horticulture shows us that even plants and flowers reproduce through cross-pollination, and are therefore dependent on others.

God designed us to be relational beings. He made us in His image and He Himself is a relational being. We see this same kind of cooperative teamwork again within the Godhead. For instance, Matthew 3:16-17 shows the Father and the Spirit teaming up together in Jesus' life for His initial anointing and public endorsement/presentation during His water baptism. It says, "When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'"

God is a relational God and He demonstrates teamwork within Himself. He also wants us to be rightly related to one another to enjoy maximum quality of the life. And we will enjoy much greater effectiveness when we labor together for the furtherance of His will and purposes on the earth. The fellowship and the joy of being rightly related to God and one another gives us a degree of effectiveness in life and ministry that we would not otherwise have.

The value of "Team"

Eccl 4:9-12 says:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken

Jesus recognized the dynamic described in this Scripture, and therefore He consistently sent out His disciples two by two (Mark 6:7, etc). Eccl 4:9-12 lists several important and valuable benefits of "team."

Prob 11:14 says, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." Team Ministry provides needed balance and safety.

We will add various additional aspects of team ministry as we proceed through this series in the following weeks. These include things like

One final note -- it is important to realize that there is a distinct difference between gifting and character. This is important to understand When we address the topic of team ministry and being rightly related to other members of the Body of Christ. The reality is that gifting does not insure character. It takes gifting to prophesy, but it takes character to be a "team player." Giftings are received by faith. Character is grown as fruit. The one does not insure the other. However, the gifted minister, who also has the character it takes to be a "team player," will find their ministry much is more useful in the hand of the Lord for the furtherance of His purposes.

God needs prophets who are courageous enough to stand alone when need be, but also wise and humble enough to recognize their need of corporateness. He needs prophets who can embrace submission to the team process. In the 70's, the church was breaking free of the "fear of man" and "people pleasing," so independence was a virtue. Today God is looking for those who exhibit the ability to embrace corporateness as a valuable virtue. God designed us for relationship and for inter-dependence. He did not design us for an unhealthy co-dependence. He did not design us for independence that is born out of pride and rebellion. He designed us for inter-dependence - the humility to recognize our need for one another.

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <godspeak@godspeak.org> --

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