Servant leaders serve best when they serve with others. Jesus modeled team ministry. He seldom carried out ministry by Himself, even though He was the Master and needed no one else to help meet needs. Yet no matter what He was doing, Jesus ministered with His disciples nearby, showing that the best lessons came from the classroom of experience. Jesus didn’t need a ministry team, but He built one to ensure that ministry would continue when He returned to the Father.
Jesus modeled team ministry, and His disciples followed that example. When the Holy Spirit directed the church in Antioch to send members out to share the gospel with the Gentiles, God’s Spirit told the church to select two members. After prayer and fasting, the church sent out Barnabas and Saul (see Acts 13:1-3). Ministry teams are the method the early church used to meet the need of evangelism. Ministry teams are the method the church of the 21st century will continue to meet needs effectively.
Team ministry is a group of disciples bound together under the lordship of Christ who are committed to the shared goal of meeting a particular need related to the mission. Team ministry affords servant leaders a way to multiply their callings to meet the needs of others. Servant leaders multiply their leadership by empowering others to lead. Team ministry is the method servant leaders generally use to carry out the work of ministry.
Team ministry occurs where there’s a sense of being part of a team. Team members sense that each person belongs and that the other team members respect one another. Team ministry starts when those on the team sense they’re together for a reason greater than themselves, and that reason is the mission of God and their participation in it.