What is a Ministry Team?
A ministry team is a group of Christians devoted to a particular mission within Dwell. They commonly serve under a group of leaders, with one senior leader. Ministry teams are different than fellowship groups because the members have all accepted accountable ministry roles within the team. People often belong to more than one team at the same time.
How does a group become a ministry team?
Anyone in the church can take the initiative to launch a ministry team. But to be accredited as a Dwell ministry team, a group:
- must have completed the ministry team accreditation process
- must have a qualified senior leader who belongs to the Servant Team
- must have been accepted by the appropriate division coordinator as needed at this time
- must have been accepted by the elders as a ministry priority
- must serve under the direction of a supervisor on staff
Why become a ministry team?
Ministry teams enjoy privileged status in Dwell. During the several month-long accreditation process, the church determines that a team's mission is a priority for the church, that the leadership and team members are qualified to do the work they propose, that their plan is realistic and that the team will aid in the over-all mission of Dwell.
Because ministry teams pursue needed ministry goals with qualified, accountable teams of workers, we believe they are the vanguard of ministry in the church. Because the church accomplishes most of its ministry through these teams, they are given preference when it comes to:
- Airtime, or publicity opportunities at meetings
- Opportunities to publish their activities in fellowship written material
- Giving a ministry highlight at the large central teachings
- Meeting with staff leaders and elders for advice and coaching
- Freedom to determine their own methods and personnel within their ministry description
Can Ministry Teams Lose Their Status?
Ministry teams can lose their accreditation if they are unable to achieve their goals over a period of years. Most ministry team charters last for two years or longer. Other teams may be assigned a "fallow year" in which they do not lose their accreditation and can continue to pursue their goals, but will not be supported with additional personnel until they meet with more success.
Ministry teams go through a detailed assessment process every two to four years, and may be reaccredited or deaccredited at that time. It is essential that an effective church have the ability to terminate ministry efforts that bear no visible fruit. Otherwise, we wind up like the federal government, or, worse still, the traditional church, with programs nobody wants, but which nobody can bring themselves to terminate.
Both members and leaders of ministry teams must realize that wineskins are not important, but the wine (God's work) is important. Any time we insist on keeping old wineskins even though they have outlived their usefulness, we are practicing a form of idolatry called formalism.
Important Point: Ministry teams that lose their accreditation may still continue doing their work if they wish. We do not tell anyone they may not do some form of ministry. We only say that we are not going to back them with the funding, staff time, and air time we would for an accredited team.