I really love books about ministry and sports – two great loves of mine. So, when Scott Douglas, or should I say Dr. Douglas, a friend of mine from my days in Kentucky, delivered his book – I knew it would be a winner.
Sports analogies, for most guys especially, is an effective way to teach them about most things. So, Scott starts and continues his sports analogy well, but not overwhelming where those who are not sports fanatics will still enjoy and learn from the book. It is just a good theme for the book and the title makes sense.
And sports that have teams involved is a good analogy for ministry teams. Whether you serve in children’s ministry, youth ministry, family ministry, on a pastoral team, music ministry, VBS ministry – you understand, or hopefully should, your team is your most vital tool in succeeding in ministry. Douglas realizes this throughout his years of ministry experience: “The journey of developing ministry teams that function effectively is driven by a single idea: ministry teams are made of people who have been called by God, have high character, have great skill, and have chemistry with the rest of the team.” This is a really good summation of what Douglas hopes, and achieves, to cover in this book.
I have been on a ministry team, whether paid staff or volunteer for almost 20 years. Some experiences were not as good as others, but I could pull from those experiences and compartmentalize the points in this book in how to respond and handle team ministry in the future.
One lesson I learned early on is communication is key with your “lead pastor”. That was a hard lesson I learned early on in ministry. That chemistry has to be there with the right team members, but you will have conflict that arises and you need to be humble and willing to deal with that conflict biblically.
Another lesson I have learned in ministry is that chemistry is vital. Most recently I was part of a family ministry team that excelled in this. It wasn’t always so and the elders had to deal with that wisely, but the men and women I served with…I also were friends with and still am even though I’m no longer in that city or church. Each ministry team doesn’t need to be best friends, but if you can go on road trips together or fishing with some of them – you know its a keeper.
Douglas in his books doesn’t bore you with too many statistics like some ministry books do. He is very practical with his words and you can tell they come from years of both church ministry and seminary education. He is humble to admit his failings, and shares his triumphs in ministry as well. I found this book very relatable. Maybe this would be a good summer read for your ministry staff.