Team leadership is a necessary implementation in the church body to reap the harvest God prepares for these end times. With the moving of God’s Spirit at International Pentecostal Church (IPC), it is impossible for one leader of every ministry to effectively train and develop the unchurched and help them become serving members in the kingdom of God. The church today faces difficulties that past generations did not face and, as such, needs to change the approach to the harvest.
Remember the Millennials
Millennials are driven by purpose and cause as they seek employment and organizations where they can make a difference. Not only do they want a place to belong, but they are looking for a place where they can make a difference. The goal at IPC is to help the millennials go from guest to serving member in four weeks through our First Steps program. The process is possible through four steps:
1) They discover the culture and DNA of IPC.
2) They find themselves and their God-given talents.
3) They discover a place at IPC where they can serve, and finally.
4) They join one of the teams at IPC and change their world.
Without the Team Leadership Model (TLM), the process of individual and corporate growth would not match the growth of the harvest.
The Team Leadership Model
IPC follows the Team Leadership Model (TLM) found in the book the Acts as Peter stands to preach the first message of the early church. “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and addressed the crowd: Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say” (Acts 2:14 NIV).
Although Peter was speaking to the crowd, he did not stand alone. The team of apostles, including Peter, were the agents God used to spread his gospel to the world. Now, the church stands at a monumental point of end-time revival, and it is going to take more than just one, in one church collecting the harvest. Every church member plays a crucial role in the reaping of this end-time revival, and if we do not prepare, then someone more prepared will collect the harvest.
Every ministry counts
At IPC, we implement the TLM in every ministry as each ministry is led by a team of people with a common God-given purpose. Not all churches and ministers share the same goal just as 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 outlines the different spiritual giftings. Perhaps Ephesians 4:11-16 most adequately describes the TLM as we learn that everyone has their purpose, and their purpose is equal.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
The TLM is strongly believed here at International Pentecostal Church, and it is also our belief that we can retain the God-given harvest through this model of leadership.
How did Jesus lead His team?
How many times have you heard about the importance of delegating? Church leaders should be great at this but are often the worst. We’ve all heard the excuses: “I can do it better. I can do it faster.”
However, what’s behind the excuses is a fear of letting go, a lack of trust, and—bottom line—a lack of real desire to see others grow.
Jesus didn’t do everything himself even though some of the jobs He delegated weren’t very exciting. The disciples had to learn that life wasn’t surfing from one wave crest to the next. So, Jesus sent Peter fishing so that they could pay the temple tax (Matthew 17:27), and sent two of His disciples on a mundane job to fetch a colt (Matthew 21:1-2).
However, Jesus gave His disciples exciting jobs to do too. Once, He sent 70 people on a challenging excursion to preach the gospel and heal the sick (Luke 10:1-9). They weren’t even allowed to take with them any money or supplies!
Jesus’ disciples weren’t always thrilled at the possibility of a delegated task. For instance, in Luke 9:13 when He told them to feed 5,000 men, they balked at the idea and Jesus ended up doing it himself.
Even though Jesus could have done every delegated task better himself, He delegated anyway. That’s how you build a team.
Jesus gave stretch goals
A stretch goal is a goal that’s very challenging to achieve. Stretch goals stretch a person’s faith, abilities and sometimes their stamina, basically because they’re a little (or a long way) beyond reach and force a person to rely on God.
Examples of stretch goals were when Jesus commanded Peter to fulfill an impossible task and walk on water (Matthew 14:22-33); the impossible mission that we call the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20); or the calling to live by the impossible standards of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7).
No surprise that such goals stretch our faith, but stretching brings growth.
Jesus gave away authority
Many leaders are uncomfortable when giving away authority.
They think that giving away authority to others will undermine their own. However, if the leadership team under the senior leader doesn’t have any authority, it will stifle growth and create an unnecessary bottleneck. In that setting, nothing happens without the senior leader’s OK, and often, that means that nothing happens.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to give authority to others. In Luke 9:1, He gave the 12 disciples power and authority over demons as well as to cure diseases. In Luke 10:19, He gave authority to the 70 followers. In fact, the whole point of the tiny parable in Mark 13:34 is that He has given authority to all of His servants.
Will mistakes be made when authority is delegated? Absolutely! But that’s another way the team grows. And besides, what senior leader can claim that they never made a mistake? Except for Jesus, that is.
Jesus gave feedback to His team
Jesus evaluated the efforts of His team and gave them feedback, both positive and negative. When the 70 returned from their mission, they were pleased to discover that even the demons had been subject to them in Jesus’ name.
However, Jesus brought in a note of correction that kept their focus in the right place. They were not to rejoice about the subjugation of demons, but the fact that their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:17-20).
When Peter boldly declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus quickly commended him. But only a few short verses later, He rebuked him for not having the right priorities.
Feedback keeps the team on track, both spiritually and missionally.
Jesus gave His team a shared mission
Jesus gave His team both a shared mission and a common goal. Their shared mission was the Great Commission. Their common goal was to be witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit as in Acts 1:8.
The overall commonality of the team’s vision, mission and goals is what keeps a church heading in the right direction. It makes use of the important principle of alignment which harnesses the power of a team and makes possible the unity that results in blessing.
The result is synergy.
But if authority is delegated to other leaders, how can you guarantee the alignment continues? Easy. Each leader in the church can develop their own vision for their particular area as long as it is subservient to the overall mission and vision of the church.
I hope this article is a blessing to your church, and I’d love to hear about the growth of your team and the church body.