Have you ever tuned out the familiar? We do that with music, noise and preachers! I find that there are many benefits to developing and utilizing a teaching team within your church.
I love the insights that others bring to a series. Where I may get stuck in a rut within my perspective on a topic, or passage, one of our Communication Team might have a perspective that resonates with another group of people.
Each member of our Communication Team brings a unique background and style to the table, which adds to the value of our church in the life of the community we are attempting to reach and bless with an understanding of the gospel and scripture.
2 Timothy 1:6 is a passage that the Apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God within him. Giving a turn to our pastors is key to their fanning into flame the gift of God. This doesn’t always have to be on the main stage of a Sunday Service, but we must give our teams around us the chance to fan into flame the gifts that have been deposited within them by God. It is our role as their leader to ensure they are growing the gifts and not just being task machines within our organizations. We must trust them with ministry, people and the pulpit.
I love shaping communicators. For years as a youth pastor we shaped students in their ability to give a talk at a campus club, share their testimony at an invite night or preach for a regional and national competition called Fine Arts Festival. Many years we had a student in the top 10 within our Nation. I say that to say this, I want a teaching team around us who are within the top 10 communicators within our nation.
My prayer is this, “Lord thank you for the opportunity to be a steward of this pastors life and giftedness in ministry. May we be faithful to fan into flame the gifts you have deposited within them and raise them up to be the best they can be while you entrust them to our ministry.”
This is the obvious one in my opinion. It is hard to look square at the 52 weeks a year and be fresh, innovative and inspiring in our communication as Lead Pastors. My target is to give the talk at Open Life 36 times a year. I want to ensure we take times to attend…see the church at the angle of the first time guest as well as take vacation, or go visit another church to harvest some fresh inspiration ourselves.
Craig Groeschel encouraged Pastors at a recent Catalyst One Day even in Seattle to take two weeks off in a row. One week is not a break, but two weeks off in a row gives great space for our minds to engage life and other things we must engage as the leader. I have done this twice after hearing this instruction and he is sooo correct!! Give it a try…it feels odd just sitting there the first time, but it’s worth it in the end and people’s response to your teaching team might just floor you!
The reason I initially set the pattern of preaching 36 times a year and giving the other weeks strategically to our team was in suggestion from Mark Batterson. It was something his board encouraged of him and it resonated with me as a new church launcher because I felt inside that God wanted me to not just plant a church in Bonney Lake, WA, but launch a movement that would lead me to tell the stories in places other than our own church.
As opportunities arise I want to say yes to churches, and conferences to share the movement that God has begun at Open Life. Spread the DNA and see what God does with the story of one of his surrendered to the mission of reaching the people He so dearly loves in the city we live!
Every opportunity that has arisen we have been able to say yes to and due to our development of a team we have in place capable and able communicators who can knock the talk out of the park in our absence.
This thing called church is not supposed to be a stage to make our own ego get a stroke, but a season of surrender where we say yes to God to equip the people around us for works of service so that they can gain a full understanding of all they have in their relationship with Jesus. We actually inhibit peoples relationship with God if we hog the stage…so take a break…schedule some time off and raise up some superstar communicators to bless the church you pastor and the world we live in.