Team Ministry has been defined as “the pastor and board working together to provide oversight of the spiritual growth and wellbeing of the congregation and to develop a clear direction and purpose for the ministry of the church”. As the name suggests, team ministry pertains to teamwork. It implies that there has to be members and in order for the team to succeed, these members should work together towards a common goal. Team Ministry is not a new thing. In the Old Testament, the wise king, Solomon, acknowledges the advantage of having a team in Ecclesiastes 4: 9 by saying that, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”. If two is better than one, how much more if there are more than two who divides the labor and work as a team? Imagine what their accomplishment would be. It could not be denied that there are things that could not be done by one person alone, no matter how talented or gifted he is. In fact, enormous work that lay ahead when starting and expanding a gospel ministry requires enormous resources, most especially human resources. For the same reason, the concept of team ministry was adopted by Christ himself when he called the apostles to aid him in his ministerial work. Christ knows that despite his enormous powers, he still needs people to help him spread the gospel and by doing so, he did not only make a team of two, but created a team of twelve, initially.
On a team, there is diversity. When Christ and his apostles established the first Christian churches, they were joined by many people who eventually became evangelist, lay men, financiers, etc. Each of the members has his own unique capability, but despite of their differences, they use their special skills and talents for the benefit of their team or church. This is exactly the scenario that Apostle Paul describes in his teachings to the Romans. In Romans chapter 12, verses 4 to 8, Apostle Paul described the team mechanics of the early church established by Christ as such: “(4) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (5) so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (6) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; (7) if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; (8) if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully”.
It is quite compelling how Apostle Paul described the body of Christ or the early church as having many members. These members, according to him, have different functions or gifts. Some have the gift of prophesy while others have the gift of serving, teaching, giving and many other gifts that contribute to the body as a whole. Paul did not mention that God bestowed all these gifts into a single person. Rather, he emphasized that not all members have the same function, but still, they form one body, which is analogous to a team. In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of team ministry by highlighting the different roles and offices that individual members hold in the church. In Ephesians 4: 11-12, Paul said: “(11) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, (12) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”. It is quite clear in this passage of the Bible that team ministry is not only the will of the Apostles, but the will of Christ himself. As observed by Paul, Christ himself gave the different roles inside his church for the purpose of building it up or strengthening it. Christ, therefore, recognizes the importance of teamwork in his ministry and its significance to the strength of the early church.
Daman, G. (2011). Developing a Ministry Team. Retrieved January 2016, from http://www.smallchurchleaders.org/: http://www.smallchurchleaders.org/the-small-church-board/developing-a-ministry-team.html
Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). Ecclesiastes 4:9 . Retrieved January 2016, from www.biblegateway.com: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+4%3A+9&version=NIV
Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). Ephesians 4:11-12. Retrieved January 2016, from www.biblegateway.com: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%204:11-12
Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). Romans 12: 4 - 8 . Retrieved January 2016, from www.biblegateway.com: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12