A PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIAN MANAGEMENT

Other chapters in this book

1. The purpose of management in Christian organizations is to create a fertile climate for spiritual serviceóa sense of shared mission, wise stewardship of resources, and mutual supportiveness.

2. The purpose of a Christian ministry is not excellent management per se. Management is merely a means to the end of serving God.

3. Ministry team members are valued not only for their performance contributions to the ministry, but also because they are members of Godís family.

4. The ministry team is to be a "family" of people who care about and for one another.

5. Management of Christian organizations is to be people-centered and participative.

6. Ministry management places a high value on cooperation and teamwork.

7. Team members are motivated by a shared sense of vision and mission, which is more important to them than personal gain. Goals are pursued selflessly and sacrificially.

8. How Christians work with one another is just as important as what they are striving to accomplish.

9. A key aim of ministry management is to help team members become more Christlik

10. Management in Christian organizations is ultimately a partnership with God, built on prayer, faith, and obedience.

   CHRISTIAN MINISTRY AS TEAMWORK

1. People need one another, derive identify from one another, and benefit from working together. Teamwork isnít a luxury; itís a necessity!

2. Managers must not only do the right things, they must to things in the right way. How people work together is extremely significant in Christian ministry.

3. Training and equipping others to perform for the team yields far more ministry fruit over the long run than efforts by the team leader to work harder and longer. Delegation pays irreplaceable dividends.

4. Unilateral decisions are quick to make but slow to implement. Decisions derived from team participation and consensus take longer to make but are backed up by greater cooperation and commitment.

5. Most creative ideas are "hatched" in a group environment as the result of spontaneous brainstorming and freedom from bureaucratic constraints (chain of command, rules, paperwork etc.). Isolation and routine are poor incubators of creativity.

6. People can work well together even when they have differences of opinion. They can "agree to disagree agreeably."

7. Individual accountability is a catalyst for team productivity.

8. Open, loving confrontation is always preferable to hidden agendas and bottled up frustrations.

9. Forgiveness is the oil and grease of interpersonal relations.

10. Teams need good followers just as much as they need good leaders.

CHRISTIAN TEAMWORK MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Christian ministry is teamwork with a difference, teamwork that makes a difference. This is because Christians are different in the goals they pursue and in the way they pursue them. God intends for His family members to work together in unified cooperation, the very essence of teamwork.

Christian ministry is teamwork with a difference because of the pervasive sense of family. Members of the team are valued not only for their work contributions but also for who they are as members of Christ's body--their spiritual equality enables them to relate to one another in an authentic, loving manner.

Christian ministry is teamwork with a difference because personal sacrifice is elevated above rugged individualism and self-serving competitiveness. Team members thrive on serving other sand in putting their needs first. Mutual sacrifice becomes a way of life as team members willingly give of themselves for the good of the ministry and the people it serves.

Christian ministry is teamwork with a difference because followers are just as important as leaders. God uses the efforts of each team member in equally important ways, all unique and special. A collective vision is shared, born of the team members' collective wisdom, submission, and accountability. "We" triumphs over "me."

Above all, Christian ministry is teamwork with a difference because God is in the driver's seat. He charts the ultimate course. Only through the team's keen sense of obedience and dependence can the ministry ever succeed. Christian teamwork is God-focused.

Christian ministry is also teamwork that makes a difference--a difference in what is produced and in how people feel about their work. Christians are called to be hard workers, optimistic workers, and fruitful workers. They are to labor because they want to, not because they have to. They are to work together cooperatively, enthusiastically, and positively. When they faithfully do these things, it makes a big difference in what the team is able to accomplish--in what God is able to accomplish.

The perspective of Christian ministry developed in this book is founded on six foundational principles of teamwork. The leader who recognizes and follows these principles will be able to generate teamwork that truly makes a difference.

   1.The niche principle: People who occupy a special place on the team feel special and perform in a special way. Team niches humanize teamwork.

   2.The ownership principle: The more team members participate in running the team (decision-making, planning, coordinating, and so on), the more they will own the team's goals and mission. Ownership breeds personal and interpersonal accountability.

   3.The trust principle: People who share a common vision, who personalize the work process, and who accept one another in agape love come to trust one another. Trust is the glue that binds the team together through thick an thin.

   4.The interaction principle: The more people interact, the more they bond. Bonded people share with one another and bear with one another.

   5.The submission principle: People who submit to one another elevate the team above the individual. This puts the ministry's vision in the forefront, where it can capture the team's attention and energy.

   6.The spirituality principle: Teams engaged in Christian ministry are supernaturally empowered, generating a rare kind of fruitfulness nurtured by team member unity, vision, and sacrifice. God lovingly shepherds His teams, helping them succeed despite human fallibility and frailty.

Spirituality is the true essence of Christian teamwork--people working together for God and with God. The wise team leader will take this divine partnership seriously, giving prominent attention to team prayer, devotionals, and fellowship. Team members who grow spiritually together will surely grow professionally together. This is teamwork with a difference, teamwork that makes a difference! "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33)