Often in churches we use the language of family to describe our relationships with each other. And that description can be helpful in some ways. However in other ways a group of churches that is really moving forward is functioning more as a team than as a family. Each member counts the cost before joining, and participation is voluntary. Team members then commit to encouraging each other and spurring one another on toward our common goal. If someone isn’t fulfilling their commitments, they can resign or be asked to leave. The vision and the goals are what is holding that team together. With no shared goal, they no longer have a reason to exist and the team disbands.

By using family language in some contexts and team language in others, we can both keep the peace and keep the family together, while still creating some additional environments that aren’t pre-committed, but opt-in. These environments are where we’ll begin to see results, causing more and more buy-in from others over time. Gideon didn’t need a large army for victory in battle, just a few who believed in the mission and were willing. The others were sent home.

Agree? Disagree? Give me your thoughts.