Church boards, committees, or ministry teams usually form to accomplish certain goals or tasks. If, however, they function solely with their eyes on the goal, or the end result, and miss the process, they can find themselves with unnecessary trouble. Like Jesus, we must keep the goal before us but also concern ourselves with HOW we get there. We must be process-oriented.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb. 12:1-3)
Jesus, “the pioneer and perfector of faith” marked out the race for us, according to Hebrews 12:1-3. Think about it: The whole of Jesus’ life was about the process. Why did God send Jesus as a baby, growing into adulthood, until at the age of thirty He began His official ministry? Why didn’t He send Jesus as a grown man? The Bible doesn’t detail all that happened during those years, but obviously God had a reason.
Then Jesus spent three more years discipling people to become fishers of men when He ascended back to heaven. This process involved the challenges of helping sinful men become fully devoted followers who would in turn go through the process of discipling others.
Finally, Jesus endured torture, pain, and agony of heart as He died a cruel death on the cross for our sin. Certainly God could have brought on a quick, painless death rather than making Him go through that grueling process. Yet, “for the joy set before him he endured the cross.” Through it all, Jesus did not sin (1 Jn. 3:5), “leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet. 2:21-23).
Christ-like, Process-Oriented Boards, Committees, and Ministry Teams Focus on the HOW not just the “What”
- how they accomplish the goal
As already noted, Jesus arrived at His destination with His integrity fully in tact (1 Pet. 2;21-23). Christ-like boards, committees, and ministry teams likewise understand the importance of functioning above reproach to keep their good from being misconstrued (Rom. 14:16). Remember that Hebrews 12 begins, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Good stewards faithfully complete their entrusted assignments (Matt. 25:20-29; 1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Pet. 4:10).
- how they relate with one another
Undoubtedly Jesus spent so much time on earth because people mattered to Him. Jesus humbled Himself, coming to serve rather than be served, not regarding equality with God as cause for entitlement (Phil 2:6-7; Matt. 20:28). Just as Jesus came full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14, 17), so members of Christ-like boards, committees, and ministry teams relate to one another with grace and truth, speaking the truth in love, not letting differences divide ( 1 Cor. 3:3; Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:24).
- how they handle resistance or obstacles, etc.
Because Jesus saw bigger picture, He endured what it took to get there. He was able to deal with the worst man could throw at Him because “he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet. 2:21-23). Sometimes boards, committees, or ministry teams, come to unified decisions, faithfully and honorably executing their duties, only to meet with roadblocks in the execution of their goals. If Christ-like, they will take criticism that comes their way into prayerful consideration. If Christ-like, they will not “grow weary and lose heart” but rather to entrust themselves to the Lord, believing He will bring about that which is good and right.
The process matters to Christ-like boards, committees, and ministry teams because it matters to our Lord. Let’s follow His example!