23 June 2014


By John Ollis

For 7 years (1980-86) I was the Senior Pastor of a great church which had a functioning Eldership, but in hindsight, there were many Principles of Team Ministry I did not fully understand. Then I went into Bible College Ministry and had to teach degree level Leadership and Management and this I have been doing for almost 28 years. Just 6 months ago I was invited to become a member of our local church’s Leadership Team, and it has been and is an exciting journey, previously I was the Captain now am a team member and it is a blessed experience every time we meet to pray and discuss and cast vision.

T together

E everyone

A achieves

M more



It honestly feels like a marriage, in that God has wonderfully brings people together, and so many biblical principles of marriage are worked out as we meet together.


I believe we need to give special recognition to the Snr. Pastor as God has given him a unique mantle of leadership and authority, and equally genuine recognition to every other member of the team, as the Lord has blessed them with unique gifts and talents.


Of course there must be an awesome commitment to the Lord, and to the local church, and then a special commitment to each team member (as in a marriage).


This has to be so much more than a business relationship but a willingness to lay down our lives for each other.


Without the Lord we can do nothing, prayer must be a major cornerstone to every meeting, we must not lean on our own understanding, but seek that wisdom that comes from above and that wisdom that flows through the team.


Just as we must learn to live in constant submission to the Lord, there must be mutual submission between every team member, we will not always get our propositions agreed too, or they may be changed and adjusted, or deferred because others feel  the time isn’t right. There may be times when this is really tested, remember your relationship with the Lord and your team members is more important that your personal agenda.


The Lord blesses the humble, and in his time may raise them up, stay small and insignificant in your own eyes, even Jesus at times “opened not his mouth”. Pride is a potential ugly cancer.


The enemy hates to see the church grow and prosper and will do anything to bring about disunity, remember Ps.133 “When God’s people dwell together in unity, there God COMMANDS  the blessing.  Sometimes you will have to work really hard at this, always consider the church is NOT about you and what you think and want !!!


You will have a person come to you and try and undermine a team member, both publicly and privately we must always remain loyal to our team members, There may be something you don’t agree with regarding a team member, you can say it in love in the team meeting, but when you walk out of the meeting, you speak  in total loyalty to your brother.


We know in marriage, this is a constant challenge, and we must work hard at it relative to the team, silence is not the answer, we must maintain the lines of communication, whether face to face, or say email etc. Breakdown in communication is always the first step towards conflict and potential withdrawal.


Because we are human things are going to be said and done that could hurt, we must maintain a spirit of forgiveness, otherwise it will become a cancer that will produce a “root of bitterness”. Never forget Jesus keep on forgiving us amen.


This is similar to recognition, but we should give special honour to the Captain of the team, because of the special calling and giftings that are upon his life. We must also give due honour to ever team member because of their special gifts and talents and ministry.


What an example Jesus was as a “Servant leader” we must never become dictatorial or Lording it over other team members or the church members, Lord help us to have a SERVANT’S HEART.


Last year’s vision for the church is not acceptable for today, we must through prayer see that the vision for the church is ever progressive, this includes short, mid, and long term goals to see the vision fulfilled. Without a vision the people dwell carelessly. My personal definition, with a vision there is no motivation.


The team and the captain must continue to do just that lead, simple  but profound. There is no “time out” when you are on a leadership team.

I have gleaned these principles from  many places, I trust they are a challenge and a blessing to you. Please feel free to comment.