Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from Mission Summit Conversations (June 2013)

  • Insights
    • Successful teaming, although egalitarian in spirit, requires a good facilitator to move the process along to a fruitful conclusion.
    • Teaming creates flexibility and permits teams to fade away as the situation changes, and the team is no longer needed.
    • We see God acting through the passion that God gives to people who then channel that passion through teaming with others to accomplish ministry. This passion guides people to needs and opportunities that God wants addressed.
  • Challenges
    • How can we help and encourage people to discern their gifts, then find AND define their roles?
    • One danger in this is that teams can become special interest groups or caucuses.  People become so focused on their passion that they lose sight of the broader concerns and ministries of the congregation.
  • Experiments
    • What if teams replaced committees in congregations?

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from the Mission Table (November 2013)

  • Insights
    • Teaming is about changed behavior and functions, not just new language for old practices
    • Teaming in the local church requires 2 shifts:
      • pastor moves from “player” (or even, “star”) to “coach”
      • laity allow ministry to trump structure
    • Obstacles to teaming:
      • tyranny of the urgent & unimportant–keeping plates spinning and doing too much
      • getting stuck, because we stop really listening to God and/or to each other
    • Crucial, if we are to form teams:
      • Deep listening, deep looking – both leader to congregation and congregation to God
      • How & where is God already at work around us?
      • What is God doing and how do we join in?
    • In the face of overwhelming busyness/plate-spinning, help people gain or regain a sense of the bigger picture, ultimate purpose (“upper room vision”)
  • Challenges
    • “Good enough” is good enough; perfection not necessary
    • Leaders must model vulnerability
    • There is a “back to the future” element here:  in the past, vision led to experiments and successful experiments led to programs and programs led to structures that support them.  Now, the temptation is to let structures shape vision.  Instead, we need to refresh vision and launch new experiments based on fresh vision, rather than serve structures.
  • Experiments/Projects
    • Asking myself always, “Is this something I should do with or through others, and not by myself?”
    • Asking myself also, “When is my own direct engagement really essential?”


Read the full notes:

Mission Summit Conversations:

Mission Table:

Views expressed are the sole opinion of conversation participants. They do not express the views of American Baptist Churches USA, or individual American Baptist churches. Conversation notes and summaries are shared to allow American Baptists and friends to easily review and use these Mission Summit Conversations and the Mission Table learnings as they wish.