Every Moses needs an Aaron…every Elijah needs an Elisha…and every David needs a Jonathan. Bottom line…leaders need teammates. This is one of the primary reasons and motivations behind our recent hiring of Jonathan Rocha for the position of Pastoral Intern. That is to say, I, David Cotner, need Jonathan Rocha as a teammate (i.e. a partner) in the ministry. And, in the end, it just makes good, biblical sense.
You see, there are so many benefits to team ministry. Endless books, blogs, seminars, and conferences are generated every year to expound upon the benefits of team ministry in the context of the local church. I mean…even Jesus worked in the context of a team ministry…remember the twelve disciples? Team ministry makes good, biblical sense for the following three reasons:
1) No one possesses all the gifts. The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:3-8 makes it very clear that God gifts certain people with certain gifts. No one person is given all the spiritual gifts. Thus, each member in the Body of Christ needs each other. We are not sufficient in and of ourselves to do the work of the ministry by ourselves. We NEED each other! This is especially true in the context of church leadership. That is to say, team ministry is not just vitally important for the overall health and vitality of the church, but for the overall health and vitality of church leaders themselves. In other words, some pastors are good at preaching, but are poor counselors…others are excellent with building relationships, but are poor visionaries…leaders in the church need other leaders in the church to balance, support, and enhance the ministry of the whole church because no one man can do it all. In the end, not only does the whole church benefit from many gifted leaders, but leaders themselves find the help and support they desperately need.
2) Even church leaders have blind spots. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states, “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.” Even church leaders get weak and fatigued. In moments of physical weakness, spiritual stumbling often ensues and “woe to him who is alone when he falls!” Pastors need accountability when it comes to their spiritual walk with the Lord…the best place to receive such accountability is in the context of team ministry. After all, “…a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b).
3) We get to follow Jesus’ model of ministry when we work in teams. In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sends out his twelve disciples in six teams of two. Even Jesus knew that ministry is made more efficient in a team context. Jesus knew that the burden of preaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick, though exhilarating, was also tiring. He prepared his men well by sending them out in teams of two so that they could help and support each other along the way.
As you can see, team ministry truly makes good, biblical sense for the church and the church leaders themselves. Remember, we need each other…we need all the gifts of the Spirit working together in the church for the glory of God and the good of others…we need each other for accountability…and we need each other because Jesus created us for each other. Find comfort in the diversity of gifts. Find encouragement in the team ministry you are currently witnessing because, as Paul put it, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). Prairie Flower, as we look to the future, and the possibility of bringing on Jon Rocha as a full-time Associate Pastor next May, remember that team ministry is good…team ministry is biblical.