In recent years at Saving Grace, I’ve taken to assigning a major “theme” to each year.  I usually choose the theme by taking a look at where we’ve been and where I believe the Lord is moving us.  I look at our strengths and our areas that need attention.  Then I pick one word that I think summarizes where we need to focus.  For the previous years, our themes have been:

2005 -REFRESHING (I felt we needed to take a breather, we were somewhat beaten up and tired at some failed attempts at purchasing land.)
2006 – FUNDAMENTALS (A ministry can only get so far on advertising “glitz.” What really grows a ministry long-term is the foundational ministry behind the scenes.)
2007 – STRUCTURING (realizing that to best provide foundational ministries in a consistent way that doesn’t burn out the staff and leadership, we need good leadership structures in place.)
2008 – CLARITY (We need to all be clear on what we are doing as a church, and thus the ministry strategy of “UP-IN-OUT” was born.)

So now we arrive at 2009 – a year of TEAM.

And we have good scriptural support from today’s Life Journal readings in Exodus 17 & 18.  In Exodus 17, when the Israelites were fighting against the Amalekites, the Israelites were winning when Moses raised his hands and the staff he had used to part the Red Sea and make water come from the rock, but would start to lose if Moses lowered his arms.  What was the solution?  Moses got help from his brother Aaron, and his brother in law Hur – a TEAM, you could say.  They held up his arms to ensure that Israel was successful.

In Exodus 18, Moses’ father in-law Jethro noticed that Moses was going to wear himself out and the people with him by doing too much work! (Exodus 18:18).  All of the people would stand around in lines waiting for Moses to help them discern God’s laws and deliberate in disputes.  Quite simply, Moses was hoarding all the work to himself!  What was the solution? Moses needed to form a TEAM.  Jethro suggested putting capable leaders in place as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Ex. 18:21).  That’s what Moses did.  Not only was Moses not exhausted, but the people’s needs were met more efficiently and the other leaders grew in their wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.

That’s what needs to happen at Saving Grace.  We need to concentrate on establishing more ministry TEAMS that can work together to accomplish the work of God’s Church.  In doing this, I believe that the ministry will be more of a joy to those who are in positions of both leadership and service.  When the workload is shared, not only will we be able to better minister to the spiritual needs of God’s people, but we’ll be able to enjoy the company and experiences of fellow leaders and servants.  In this process, we will each grow in our spiritual walk with the Lord, and God will be glorified!

I hope and pray you’ll be a part of the TEAM!