After about a half dozen summer team gatherings, I’ve been reflecting on the bond that holds teams together. If you thought that bond is Jesus- that would be the Christian thing to say-but I’m not sure it’s the correct answer for everyone.
What I’ve seen are teams gathering and sharing in community. They’re having fun getting to know one another in a setting where they don’t have to look at their watches in order to hit their next mark. They’ve been taking boat rides together, eating, playing games, laughing and getting to know each other’s stories.
This might be shocking to you, but not all of our team members share the same love of Jesus that you or I might. They’ve been invited into a community of Christ followers who share that common bond; but for now, they’re just happy to be invited to something outside of their isolation and on to a team where they can help, where someone knows their name and will listen to their story.
They’re taking steps, we pray, that will lead them to this relationship with Christ that bonds many of us. For now, we’re celebrating that they’ve taken a step. The funny thing is that even “the convinced” need this community to stay engaged.
I was reminded recently of a teaching that our Senior Pastor spoke on several years ago. Take a look and I’ll wrap this up:
So, are you making time for this connectivity to happen? Are you allowing those who serve in your ministries time where stories can be shared-where volunteers know they matter and their journey matters? Are we making room for the conversations that could lead to life change?
I’m paraphrasing from my Pastor but he said something like:
People join our teams because they value the task or they buy into the leader; they love working with you. You’re inspiring, encouraging, trustworthy, successful and fun. They join because they’re invited, but they stay because they’re valued as a person. Who they are matters and they know that because of the care, encouragement and community that is at the heart of every team.
I recently asked an uber volunteer when and why he decided to get involved at the extreme level he does. (I’m talking tons of hours a week serving and sharing Jesus with underprivileged kids.) Without a second of hesitation he shared that it was at a team gathering where his wife served. He wasn’t involved at all, but he said God spoke to him through the community he was witnessing.
Our teams need this. People need this. If it helps, look at it as ministry wrapped in koinónia