I heard someone say once: “If you aren’t fighting for unity, you are losing unity.” After serving on staff at a church for two years and being neck deep in ministry, I find that statement to be so incredibly true. Unity is essential to a healthy church. I have been to many of our Saddleback campuses from Irvine to Berlin, and whether I’m leading worship from the platform or participating out in the house, I have often had that moment of “whoa, we truly are one church!” And it is so cool.
When you are as big and as spread out as our church — staying unified takes a lot of hard work and intentionality. I believe one of our key roles as leaders is to protect the unity of the church. How we lead on the platform, in the green room, and in rehearsals helps build unity. And sometimes those are the exact same physical spaces where ugliness can sneak in and destroy that culture of love and “better-togetherness” that we are trying to build. You know what I’m talking about — comparison, competition, selfishness, pride, gossip — they are unity killers.
Here are some tips to combat unity killers and grow a healthy ministry team.
- We are one team. No matter which campus we serve, we are one team. The way we talk about one another and the way we think about one another should reflect this. Our hearts and minds should be overflowing with thoughts and actions rooted in unity. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45).
- Ministry is not a job. It is a life mission and it’s an honor to partner with Jesus for his Kingdom. Everything we do is for his glory — not our own. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Cultivate meaningful relationships with those who aren’t in the same ministry lane with you. If you are a singer, start grabbing coffee with an audio engineer, camera operator, or band member. If you are a band guy or girl, get to know the names and stories of your stage managers and lighting engineers. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:3-4).
- It takes all of us. No one role on the team is more important than another. Our tech teams work diligently to make the artists sound and look their best. Our artists work diligently to honor the hard work and service of the tech team. We need one another. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited (Romans 12:16).
- Reject negativity. Say kind things about one another. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Let’s cheer one another on in ministry. The health of the church and our team depends on us truly loving one another.