Team Ministry is the heart of how we are organized, care for one another, grow in faith, and do our ministries together.
Called by Our Spiritual Gifts, Passions and Interests
We’ve all had the experience of seeing volunteers burned-out and uninspired because they had felt obligated to fill some committee position. Teams, on the other hand, begin by drawing together people who are passionate about particular church ministries and activities.
Some people have a heart for visiting the sick, while others are excited by managing the details of a financial spreadsheet. Some people come alive when they sing, others get enthused by hands-on building-improvement projects … the church is a body that needs all of these people.
We begin by helping people explore their spiritual gifts through an on-line spiritual gifts survey followed by an in-depth conversation to consider where that person feels called to serve. The activities of each team are formed by the unique gathering of people on that team rather than a sense of “this is what we’ve always done.”
When we work within our gifts, we stay motivated, creative and energized.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Covenant – Staying Healthy
Each team writes their own covenant about how they will work together in healthy and effective ways. This covenant specifies how team members will make decisions, how they will handle disagreements, how they will share their concerns, and how they will support, encourage and pray for one another.
Each team reads their covenant at the beginning of most meetings.
Proverbs 1:5, 7 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance; The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
We’ve learned that Scripture is the living Word of God that will speak into our own lives as we read and reflect upon it. Therefore, we begin each team meeting with members sharing what a passage or devotion given for that day means to them. Sometimes we ask ourselves the question, “How will my life be different by having encountered this biblical passage?”
Some days people will be strongly impacted by a passage, at other times not so much. The important thing is that we read and prayerfully reflect on the Bible, and that we share honestly with one another. We don’t want people coming to church with their “lookin’ good” act on … we’ve found that authenticity leads to growth and health.
All of these things build trust and cohesion in our teams that we don’t often find in other settings. Many of us honestly (and sometimes to our own surprise) say that we look forward to our monthly teams meetings more than to anything else.
Each team is also our small group support. We care for one another by praying, by encouraging and by listening to one another. Sometimes we help in practical ways. For example, some members of our Music Team recently spent a day helping two fellow Music Team members move to a new apartment.
John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Ministry Gets Done
Most of our meeting time is spent on the topics just described … and after that, doing the work of the teams generally goes pretty quickly and efficiently. We encourage teams to focus on the big-picture things at meetings, and to leave details and coordination to phone calls, texting and email.
We are learning that a key responsibility of each team leader is raising-up new leaders. So, rather than just getting tasks done, a leader is looking for opportunities to prepare new people for leadership.
Mercies Team: Pastoral care of our congregation, and ministries outside of the church. Examples include involvement with Rescue Mission, visiting hospital patients and running a GriefShare group. This team also raises money at times of crises, such as Super Storm Sandy or when we helped several families re-establish their home after local fires.
Finance Team: Responsible for raising and overseeing the budget of the church. We are entirely self-supporting.
Worship Team: Brings creative ideas to worship as well as maintaining the behind-the-scenes needs such as managing our sound system and sanctuary set-up.
Facilities Team: Maintaining nearly five-acres and three buildings is a big job, which our facilities team members do with gratitude for the exceptional beauty of our grounds and sanctuary.
Community Building Team: This team reaches-out to the neighborhood to encourage people to join with us so that their lives, too, may be transformed. They also help newer people integrate into community life here. And some of their activities are just plain fun – like our game night for adults and monthly church hikes.
Christian Study and Growth: Bible study, discussion groups, book studies and children and youth ministries are coordinated by this team.
Lead Team: Our pastor, two co-moderators and two other church members belong to the Lead Team, which gives direction and helps coordinate church activities.
Council of Team Leaders: The leaders of each team meet once a month to coordinate events and share with one another all that is going on within our community.
Want to see an example of a team covenant? Here is our Lead Team covenant:
Lead Team Covenant
I will commit to sincerely, prayerfully and courageously work in partnership with fellow Lead Team members to advance the mission, health and faithfulness of the Congregational Church of Northridge.
I will pray for insight, guidance and strength, always seeking to put God first as revealed through prayer, collective discussion, and Scripture.
Ephesians 6:19-20 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
I will maintain a practice of regular Life Journaling and prayer to discern God’s voice in my own life, and in the life of the church. I will pray for the faithfulness, health and success of the ministries of this church, and I will pray against sin, dysfunction and evil that would disrupt it.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
I will personally encourage fellow Lead Team members, and I will always be sensitive to the personal and professional issues they may be facing; I will pray for the needs and wellbeing of all Lead Team members.
2 Corinthians 1:10-11 [God] has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
I will communicate honestly, directly, and kindly with Lead Team members, always seeking to bring health, progress or resolution to issues. I will express my feelings, but I will not display emotions in inappropriate or harmful ways.
1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.
I will not assume the motives of fellow Lead Team members, and I won’t allow negative feelings to fester
Ephesians 4:26-27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
I will join in seeking consensus on all Lead Team decisions, but I will wholeheartedly support all decisions even if I hold a dissenting opinion.
1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
I will speak from personal observation and understanding rather than representing a constituency.
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.
I will be mindful of the Lead Team’s accountability to our Council of Team Leaders and congregation.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I will maintain confidentiality of Lead Team discussions that are of a sensitive nature, including personal and journaling discussions.
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
I will seek to extend forgiveness to others when they wrong me and I will seek to accept forgiveness from others when I have wronged them.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you
I will strive to attend and to be prepared for each Lead Team meeting by thoughtfully completing reading or other assignments.
Current Team Co-Leaders:
Facilities: Robert Nunez and Paul Phung
Mercies: Terri Rupel
Worship: Kathy Jamison and Meegan Weiland
Community Building: Pam Davis and Tom Kaser
Christian Study and Growth: Beckie Cummins and Kerstynn Kozel
Finance: Mike Holcomb
Music: Tim MacDonald
Lead Team: Pastor Roger Barkley, Laura Phung and Terry Sanders (co-moderators), Cyd Hedge and Janette Knudson