Fall 2021 CLM Module 1 Homework Assignment #4 of 6

Subject: CLM Homework #4 of 6 – My Team for Ministry.

My Team for Ministry

Bad joke:
What do you call a dog that has no legs?
Answer: it doesn’t matter what you call him he’s not going to come.

Your mutual ministry team is your arms and legs.
The body of Christ has arms and legs to do work and go places.
Who are your arms and legs?
If you don’t have them you are not going anywhere.

Jim Collins classic book on transformation in organizations entitled Good to Great suggests: first who, then what. Assemble the brightest, the most talented and the most committed people and THEN figure out what you are going to do. Start by gathering the best people, then work WITH them to develop the best plan. Quote:

First Who, Then What
The next factor that Collins identifies as part of the Good to Great process is the nature of the leadership team. Specifically, Collins advances the concept that the process of securing high-quality, high-talent individuals with Level 5 leadership abilities must be undertaken before an overarching strategy can be developed. With the right people in the right positions, Collins contends that many of the management problems that plague companies and sap valuable resources will automatically dissipate. As such, he argues, firms seeking to make the Good to Great transition may find it worthwhile to expend extra energy and time on personnel searches and decision-making.


It’s important to understand that as we do ministry, we work with the people who are there. We don’t usually get to handpick a team of superstars. What we do assume is that God has put the people in place needed to fulfill God’s will. The people you need for your team will be there. To practice building a team, however, we can contemplate who we would like to ask to be on our team.

So that will be our homework – choose one of the following scenarios and answer the questions:

  1. Consider your current district. If you were asked to start a new congregation, list seven people you’ve known throughout your life that you would like to have with you to help you as the church planting team.
    1.1 Who would you ask to come with you?
    1.2 What talents do they bring? Why did you choose them?
    1.3 Select a Pastor or Ministry professional who will be your expert consultant and mentor the project and the team.
  2. Consider your current church (or a church you know well from your past). Imagine you were asked to start a new ministry emphasis to a target population (example: youth, families with young children, the homeless, persons overcoming addictions, the unchurched, retired people – your ministry target population should refect your S.H.A.P.E. and calling.)
    2.1 What would be your target population?
    2.2 Who would be the four people from your current church that you would like to have with you to help you?
    2.3 Who would you ask to serve as a link to the church board and interpret your ministry to the rest of the congregation?
    2.4 Who would you ask to provide expertise and mentor the team and the project?
  3. Consider your current district and/or a church where you’ve been a leader. You are a lay leader in a large church in a county seat town of 15,000 that has been asked to adopt a United Methodist congregation in Banner, Illinois, a small village 8.4 miles away. They are the only church in the village which has a population of 250. The congregation consists of six elderly people who have been struggling to keep the church from closing. They are willing but exhausted; they need help. You’ve been asked by your pastor and District Superintendent to form a ministry team to function as the pastoral staff, providing ministry to the existing church and the community in order to revitalize the church. This is a two year commitment for the team. Your church is very excited about sending “missionaries” to help in Banner.
    3.1 Who are five people you would ask to come with you as volunteers?
    3.2 What talents do they bring? Why did you choose each person?
    3.3 Select an outside Pastor or Ministry professional who will be your expert consultant and mentor the project and the team. (In addition to the current pastor of “parent” church who will be the link to the District Superintendent.)

Some theory about ecclesiology (the theology of church) that is meaningful to me:

To me, the best definition of the church is what Paul writes about the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12.
EVERY member is gifted; the Spirit chooses your gift mix, not you.
Some are envious of the gifts of others.
Others look down on those who don’t have their gifts.
EVERYONE is connected … when one member suffers …
EVERY member is NECESSARY from God’s point of view.

The body of Christ is like a Kachina doll … bodies within bodies. Systems within systems. Teams within teams. In the Wesleyan movement, this is called Ecclesiolae en ecclesia … “little churches in the big church.” To me, each is a functional “body of Christ” within the bigger system.

From this perspective, we are connected as churches within churches …
The Illinois Great Rivers Conference is a 1000 point charge led by a Bishop.
The Kaskaskia River District is about a 75 point charge led by a Superintendent.
Kinmundy-Wesley United Methodist Church is a two-point charge led by Dave Kueker.
The youth group is a body within this body of Christ led by Mary Brimberry.
The Beth Moore class is a body within this body of Christ led by Kim Kueker.

And your Mutual Ministry Team is a body within the body of Christ which is the church to which you are assigned. All that is needed to fulfill God’s will is provided through the people God has provided. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Teams differentiate within a common purpose …
Common unifying purpose: basketball team.
But players bring different skills: point guard, shooting guards, forwards, center … all differing, all differentiated.
On a losing team, everyone is identical.

Note: This post is one in a series of emails to allow discussion as a class via email prior to the first gathering of the class for Module 1 of the Certified Lay Minister program of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. David Kueker is the instructor and developed these introductory emails.
CLM 0.4, Reviewed: 2-19-22.

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