Most effective ministry is done in teams
PEORIA – Rev. Jorge Acevedo remembers the wakeup call he received from his wife 18 years ago.
Acevedo identifies the Heroic Solo Leader Syndrome as one of the greatest impediments toward fruitful ministry and effective, risk-taking mission. He said healthy teams get the best results.
- Chronic fatigue – success is dependent on the competence and heroics of an individual or a few individuals working independently
- Little innovation in making disciples – fruitfulness is in “pockets” with processes are usually isolated, disconnected, ad-hoc and chaotic.
- A tendency to over-commit and an inability to repeat past successes
- Solo, command and control leadership with the attitude of “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
- The Bible teaches team ministry through the experience of David and mighty men; Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall; Jesus and the disciples and Paul and his missionary team
- Our heritage modeled team ministry. Acevedo challenged the notion of the solitary circuit rider, noting that these riders were formed in community and persons were invited to be a part of a class meeting.
- Our checkbooks demand team ministry. The Apex Report, which guided many of the Call to Action proposals at the recent General Conference noted that churches in 2008 were spending nearly $2,000 per worshipper per year to carry out the work of the church. “The actual cost is higher at both the smallest churches where more is spent to keep the church doors open and among the largest churches were additional ministries and programs are rolled out to meet demands of its worshippers,” Acevedo said. “These are four year old totals and as we shrink, the per capita cost continues to increase.
- The world desperately needs team ministry. Quoting Dr. George Hunter, Acevedo noted, “Today, there are 180 million functionally secular people in the United States. They have no understanding of the Bible. The U.S. is the third largest mission field on earth. It is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Apostolic teams (and churches) are needed to reach them!”