Even when people have made a commitment to serve on a team, life keeps happening anyway. Sometimes things come up that prevent them from serving for a while: illness, personal issues that need to be dealt with, the care of an elderly parent. How do you provide care and grace for someone in a participant group who can’t fully participate for a season?
On a team, sometimes people need to be put on the “injured reserve list.” They’re still on the team, but are unable to function and fully participate on the team as they would normally. Instead, they need care themselves. Just as a football player may need to go on the personal track for a while rehabilitating a knee that’s been injured, sometimes our ministry team members need a season of rehabilitation. But instead of kicking them off the team and telling them they can reapply when they’re ready, put them on the injured reserve list. Don’t lose touch with them. Stay connected relationally. Shift their role to prayer support or something they can do.
Certainly we want to help each other fulfill our commitments. But sometimes there are legitimate reasons why someone needs special attention or set aside time. In those cases, just give them a temporary suspension of their commitments, but recognize that they still need meaningful connections and to feel part of the team.