Cultivating relationships within your ministry brings alignment, agreement, and advancement. But who has time? And who knows how?! Fortunately, we were designed by God for deep relational community. As we intentionally draw near to each other, community begins to grow naturally and ends up being easier than we initially thought.

Recently, our leadership team met outside for the start of a six-hour meeting – the first half was normal business and the second half was our annual Action Plan. With a meeting of that length and weightiness, we could’ve been tempted to dive right in. But God’s taught us to dive into Him first, and to do it together. So we started with a simple activity.

We were seated at a picnic table, and I explained that we’d each select an object in the backyard that portrayed where we were at personally, in this season of our lives. We prayed for God’s leading and began exploring. A few minutes later there was an assortment of leaves on our table.

One person picked a strand of ivy. It represented a season of seeking God for direction in a certain area of their lives. They explained that in the same way ivy stretches and reaches and grows toward the sun, this was their posture before God.

Another person found a delicate lavender wildflower and was also drawn to an old school desk on our back porch. It spoke of being a student, of being schooled. This person is in a new role, and God used the desk to reaffirm that He would be a good instructor and there would be great learning in this season.

Someone chose two Maple leaves, each with five points. Throughout the year, this person had been drawn to the biblical number 10, which represents completion and fulfillment. They had recently finished a large project and there was a sense of increased fruitfulness to follow.

With a fresh look into each other’s lives, we prayed for the person on our right. We grew closer in those 30 minutes, having exposed a portion of our hearts to each other. The day’s discussions were focused, honest, and free – built on a foundation of trust from the morning’s relational community activity.

5 Benefits of Relational Community

1. Honor. Honor is demonstrated as you take time to know each other as people – whole people with aspirations, doubts, and questions – not just as coworkers.

2. Safety. Safety is established as people share openly and experience understanding and acceptance.

3. Trust. A trust-level is fostered when individuals are vulnerable and receive love and respect in return.

4. Freedom. When individuals feel safe and that others are trustworthy, they are more apt to freely share opinions in meetings, even when divergent. This leads to well-rounded decisions based on God’s multifaceted wisdom.

5. Glory. God is glorified when we reflect His trinity love. Jesus said in John 15:12, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Just like a tender new plant is designed to grow but needs to be cultivated, relational community is in our DNA but needs intentionality, time, and genuine love. Take the time to grow close to your team members, and even in the midst of the challenges of ministry, God will grow you into a well-watered garden.”

“Take time to grow close to your team members, and God will grow you into a well-watered garden.”

- Lisa Hosler

The LORD will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

What’s one way you intentionally get to know your team members? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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