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How to Build a Faithful Ministry Team

Every church needs a good ministry team to serve the church body. The church is not a one-man show meant to be run by a pastor/preacher alone, even if the church is small. Throughout the New Testament, leadership in the local church is always plural. It’s meant to have elders and others ministering who have been equipped to serve the church body in a variety of ways. But how does this happen? How does a church set about forming a ministry team and acquiring staff to fill needed positions within the church? Is there a strategy for building these teams and choosing those who will serve in key positions? Dr. Richard Caldwell has been in and has served in different positions in churches for many years, in addition to helping plant churches. He's been the Senior Pastor at Founders Baptist Church for 25 years, so he’s been part of shepherding, guiding, and building ministry teams and staff for several decades. So this week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell to share what makes for good ministry teams and what the process he goes through regarding selecting and putting them together looks like.

 

Beginning with those who lead the church, Dr. Caldwell stresses the commitment to the biblical qualifications given in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. In these New Testament passages are found the non-negotiables the Bible sets forth for those who lead the church. This is foundational, says Dr. Caldwell, and they do not compromise on these qualifications. So, they begin with biblically qualified men to form their body or group of elders. Dr. Caldwell uses the specific language of a body of elders, not a board of elders. He shares that language is important and how we use it conveys meaning. The church is not a business; the men who lead it do not just show up and make decisions. The body of elders is a group of men who shepherd the church together. These need to be men able to teach the Word of God, under-shepherds who love people, caring for and watching over souls. They need to be men who are prepared for these responsibilities, along with the willingness to not avoid the hard and sometimes exhausting work of shepherding souls. They need to be humble men and not new converts whose hearts might be lifted up with pride. They won’t be able to work well together if there’s any sort of jealousy, competitiveness, or an unwillingness to submit to one another. There needs to be a willingness to embrace their role for ministry in a way that makes its contribution to the whole of the ministry that shepherds the Lord’s church. Dr. Caldwell talks about structured eldership, friendship, loving one another, competency in the Word of God, and philosophy of ministry, which are part of building good, healthy, and vibrant ministry teams.

 

What about church staff? How should church staff be selected and placed in their positions? Dr. Caldwell says that they need to be faithful church members. You never want someone on staff, right down to the secretarial staff, who isn't faithful to the Lord’s church. You want people who have hearts for people and view their positions as a ministry, not just as a job and a paycheck. They need to be hardworking servants who aren’t selfishly oriented and are willing to give of themselves on behalf of other people. There needs to be doctrinal and philosophical single-mindedness with those in these positions as well so that the entire team is on the same page regarding what we believe and how that is lived out.

 

Should those who have all these post-nominal letters following their last name, those who have obtained doctrinal and theological degrees, be given special weight or credence when choosing people to serve in ministry roles? What about a person's experience and being tested before they are placed in a specific role? How important are these things?

 

Dr. Caldwell says that he believes theological preparation is important. Whether formal or informal, ministry training is important as long as it’s viewed rightly. We should never consider those letters following someone’s name to be a substitute for godliness or that their training makes them more useful. Training in and of itself is not the producer of great servants of God. Dr. Caldwell shares the examples of Charles Spurgeon and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, neither having had formal training in ministry or seminary degrees. Yet both were gifted and prepared in unique ways, in their time, for their roles and positions in the church. But these men are not the norm they’re exceptions to the norm. The norm is that through local church training, Bible college, and seminary training, God means for His servants to be prepared for what they will be doing. So it’s not wrong to consider these things, but we just don’t put the kind of weight on that which cannot be biblically justified. As far as experience and testing, we want to know the person. We want to know their character. Their giftedness and humility need to be proven. There will be times when you bring someone in who is personally unknown to you. But hopefully, when that happens, it’s through a friendship recommendation, where someone you know well has served in ministry with that person and has an intimate friendship with them. You never want to put someone in a leadership position when you don’t know them; that's a very dangerous thing to do. One of the greatest dangers when it comes to spiritual leaders is pride. You never want to put someone into a position of authority who hasn’t demonstrated they can be under authority because they will abuse authority. There is no one who is not under authority. Every person who is given a title, no matter what that title may be, is under authority, and all are subject to church discipline. So, every person needs to be tested and proven before they are put into a place of authority in the church.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

If you like our podcast we invite you to help us by spreading the word. Make sure you share this podcast with your friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media avenues. Don’t forget to subscribe to our feed through your favorite podcast player, and subscribe to our YouTube and Vimeo channel.

Season 27 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE
FOUNDERS BAPTIST CHURCH
MEDIA TEAM VOLUNTEERS

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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