There’s a Why in Team

The Core Fellowship has a thing called The Core Team. What you might call Church members elsewhere, you’d call Team Members at The Core. And there’s about seven people planning to join it this Sunday.

And yet, I’m tempted to kick everyone out of it. Myself included.

Christina and I had a long and challenging conversation last night, in which her key point was “We don’t do anything… we just talk.” I countered that so many of our Team Members had been gone over the summer that we really couldn’t do anything. So she asked, “What do we plan to do that has to be so exclusive? Why couldn’t non-team-members join us if they want to?”

And that’s what did it. I suddenly felt like a sheep who’d been walking along on top of the fence, and couldn’t reach the grass on either side. We never liked the idea of having “church members” because it seemed too passive, and it automatically created a group called “non-members”. But I didn’t like the idea of a nebulous crowd of people, either. I personally wanted some definition to the committed group, and a designation that would express that sense of commitment. So we put together a team. And those who are not Team Members are called Family Members, so there’s no such thing as a non-member.

I don’t regret the idea entirely. Maybe for some churches this would be a good thing. But for us I think it’s been a waste of time, and a stress-inducer on me to figure out what to do with this so-called team. The fact is…

If you consider us your church home, then Welcome Home.
If you’re interested in our meetings, then come.
If you want to commit, commit.
If you are compelled to give, give.
If you are called to serve, serve.
If you see a need, meet it.
If you want to lead, pray about it, then talk to us. Chances are, you can lead in some way.

I just can’t see how one’s status as a Team Member or Family Member should have anything to do with any of these. The last one is the closest, but if we’re a family, and we’re praying and talking together, why shouldn’t we be able to discern what sort of leadership each other is capable of, and called into? We don’t really need a team for that, either.

One thing that’s certain is that we must clearly teach the distinctions that God makes. He does divide between the sheep and the goats, the lovers of God and the lovers of this world, those controlled by the Spirit and those controlled by the flesh, the followers of Christ and the followers of the enemy. This is a real distinction, both for the present and for the hereafter. It determines whether you commit for the right reasons, and give with the right motives, and serve with the right guidance, and fellowship with the right Spirit.

But it is also a growth process: a journey. And who are we to deny someone their first steps of that journey by keeping them on the outside? Let the motives and guidance and Spirit come, as they dive into the life of the Body. The closer they get, the closer they can examine the difference.

And that Body life is about to turn a corner as well, which we’ll discuss at our next (and possibly our last) Team Member meeting this Sunday afternoon. Do you want to come? Then come.

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One thought on “There’s a Why in Team

  1. Sounds like a wise plan. Ecclesiology is key. The church doesn’t need any “leaders” except elders and “deacons.”

    To me, “family” and “body” are more helpful (and biblical) conceptions of the social/relational nature of the church. A family can be a team, and at its best is, but it’s more than that.

    I would be concerned about speaking of all people, believers and not, as “family members” because of the inevitability of confusion with the biblical concept of the “family” or “household” of God (which is an important one to maintain). Those outside the family are called “neighbors,” but we’re commanded not to be “yoked together with unbelievers,” which is a very familial (as well as missional) concept. You mentioned the importance of distinguishing between “sheep and goats,” but there’s a definite need for corporate identity as the family/people/household of God, and the language we use shapes that.

    So, in a nutshell, I’d recommend continuing to speak of “family members,” but in reference to those who profess Christ and are committed to the mission and wellness of the “family.” It might dry up some of the ooey-gooey feelings of the so-called universal brotherhood of humanity, but ultimately it’ll pay off because it’s theologically accurate.

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