Very early on the apostles recognised that they could not do everything and called upon others to help with administrative and practical aspects of the ministry of the group (-Acts 6: 1-7) . At no point is the ministry of the apostles exalted above that of those called to a more practical work, in fact they both enhance and compliment each other.
Paul taught in both Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 of the importance of all members of the body of Christ; calling each and everyone to see their lives as a living sacrifice.
Collaborative ministry is acknowledged by many as the key to church health and growth, and yet we are rather unclear what we mean by that...
For years congregations have been de-skilled by professional clergy who do everything from administration t& maintenance , to preaching teaching and pastoral work. Now many people expect that the minister will do it, and many ministers it seems feel that they are the only ones who can!!!
I work in what is supposed to be a collaborative ministry team, what this means in effect though is that the two ministers are stretched further than ever! I am the Lay Worker in the team and sometimes feel that I have to remind the Ministers of my presence, this is good in someways as it frees me to go ahead with what I feel that God has called me to, but is frustrating in other ways...
I am currently training for the ministry and I want to be an enabler and an equiper of people, people who in many cases have more knowledge and expertise than I do in many different areas, especially in practical and financial/ admin tasks!
I do not want to chair every meeting...I do not want to always be the one in charge! I recognise my gifts, and see them as given to serve the body, in serving I must also learn to be served.
Jesus often accepted the service and ministry of others, and he gave us a wonderful pattern of servant leadership to follow...he involved the disciples in collaborative ministry, sending them out and teaching them to serve one another...
More than anything I want to retain humility...though if I carry on at my present rate I guess this will not be difficult...my mistakes keep me that way!
I worry when a competent teacher, used to controlling an unruly class worries about reading the scriptures on a Sunday morning, when skilled business men are unable to make a decision in a Church meeting, or equally when we rely solely on our human strengths forgetting that Gods strength is made perfect in our weakness! And yet we must embrace our strengths, and use them:
Romans 12:1 (MsgB)
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
To be truly collaborative in our approach, we must not only do this ourselves, but we must encourage others to do the same!