Whether you call a group that meets together for strategizing and steering ministry a board, committee, or team, the key is that the group is healthy. A healthy group will not only know and align with its purpose for existence but also function according to God’s design for the Church — Body Life. A dysfunctional group, or unhealthy board, committee or ministry team, is one that does not follow Body Life principles. Healthy church boards live out the “one another” commands of Scripture.
interdependence versus dependence
Objective: Value each person’s contribution. While it is important to have one person be “in charge” in the sense of keeping things moving and on track, the person is not “in charge” in terms of control and making the final decisions. Leaders must be servants, not dictators (Matt. 20:25-28).
So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Rom. 12:5)
. . . so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. (1 Cor. 12:25)
safety versus insecurity
Objective: Accept everyone’s opinions as valuable input. While a person’s idea might not be implemented, he/she can feel confident that it will be considered without fear of ridicule or judgment. Contributions by members must be sought, welcomed, and fairly considered, not dismissed or demeaned.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Rom. 15:7)
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (original=build up one another). (Rom. 14:19)
consensus versus compliance
Objective: Arrive at God’s will. While some may have to let go of their ideas, it shouldn’t be to please others or conform but rather because they desire God’s best. Decisions must be born out of prayer and alignment with God’s Word, not personal agendas.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves (original=’same mind among each other’) as you follow Christ Jesus . . . (Rom. 15:5)
trust versus mistrust
Objective: Delegate the authority to accomplish the task. While parameters do need to be set, the committee or ministry team should have freedom within those boundaries to make decisions and implement their plans without fear of reprisal. Responsibilities must be brought into account, not micro-managed.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Heb. 10:24)
Examine the church boards, committees, or ministry teams of which you are a part. Which side most characterizes the way you function? Is it healthy versus dysfunctional? What steps can you take to move from unhealthy to healthy?