Last summer I read a book called "Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
." I read it in part because of the title. I love the notion "team of teams". Something that we have when we are at our best in the church. It's been long understood that ministry and missions take not one person or one committee but a "team of teams" to make things happen.
This is a concept that Paul lifts up in 1 Corinthians 12
, many gifts are working together as the “Body of Christ." Using the image of the body for a description of the Church is brilliant and inspiring. Take a moment and pause while reading this to just flex your fingers. There are numerous systems in our body such as the skeletal, muscular and nervous system, all working in unison so you can simply flex your fingers and move your hands at will. Just think of all the cells that work together to form a muscle or bone or nerve strand. You might say it is taking a "team of teams" just to grasp or move an object.
In our United Methodist Church, we are UNITED by heartwarming experiences of God’s love in Jesus Christ AND our shared calling to METHOD(ist)ICALLY, which lives out God’s Good News in the world. To grasp or move this forward - it takes a "team of teams".
Here in the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey we are made up of a "team of teams". In the front line, we have our team of pastors and laity laying hands and feet on God’s love connecting with communities and growing disciples. Each district is a team, comprised of a superintendent, district lay leaders and circuit elders who support, resource and focus on missionary strategy with local congregations. Our three regions - Southern, Central and Northern region are now working as a team to provide opportunities to serve, learn and grow. The Connectional Ministries Team and staff at the Mission and Resource Center are all part of a "team of teams".
We have new resources that are equipping and empowering "team of teams" with Team Vital
, the Laity Leadership Academ
and PaCE groups
for clergy and lay leaders to become team captains.
Together we are putting, as I like to say, “The connection back into connectional ministry!"
During the next several months we, Rev. Myrna Bethke and I, as District Superintendents in the Southern Region, will be covering the superintending needs of the Delaware Bay District along with Gateway South and Cape Atlantic Districts. We will continue to support congregations and leaders, pastors and laity across the region to move ministry forward across each District throughout the Southern Region.
The Southern Region has such strong spiritual DNA dating back to Francis Asbury and generations of bold and faithful women and men that formed and fed congregations and communities. The Southern region, with three incredible districts, has a high number of well-equipped and gifted leaders, clergy and laity. There are great resources and potential partnerships upon which we might continue to build with colleges, universities, prisons and other places to expand ministry. There are also a number of significant challenges that are impacting the Southern Region with a struggling economy, growing drug and addiction problems and neighbors and members that need hope, justice and love.
For such a time as this we have been called to be a bold, high spirited, positive energy, significant impact, TEAM OF TEAMS serving and leading together as part of the Christ's Body on the move across South Jersey.
"We are stronger together!"
Pastor Brian - Cape Atlantic District Superintendent
Reading Recommendation by Brian Roberts: "Lead Like Wesley" by Mark Gorveatte
Do you have recommendations for summer reading to share? If so send to firstname.lastname@example.org