Key Bible text: Ephesians 4:15-16—Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV)
Teams 1 Fruitful teams are united by a common vision.
Fruitful teams are comprised of members who share a common goal and strategy. This contrasts with teams on which many members are pursuing different goals—focusing on different people groups or different outcomes.
Teams 2 Fruitful teams build one another up in love.
The members of fruitful teams develop life-giving relationships with one another. Such teams learn to affirm and respect one another’s gifts and efforts, resolve conflicts honestly, and bear one another’s burdens.
Teams 3 Fruitful teams have effective leadership.
Teams with healthy leadership dynamics are teams on which the leaders catalyse the varied gifts of the members so that they are able to work together toward the team’s goals.
Teams 4 Fruitful teams employ the various gifts of their members to serve the task.
Fruitful teams affirm the varied gifts of the members and encourage them to blossom. Team members are more fruitful when their gifts are deployed in roles and functions that best serve their vision for mission rather than on other projects.
Teams 5 Fruitful teams adapt their methods based on reflective evaluation and new information.
Teams bear fruit when they intentionally evaluate their progress. They change their methods and strategies when necessary. They adapt their methods based on the experience of informed local experts and other efforts to build God’s kingdom.
Teams 6 Fruitful teams have at least one person with high language proficiency in the heart language.
Fruitful teams prioritize learning the heart language of their host people. They make sure all members are on the path toward greater involvement in the language community and value the members who attain high fluency in language and culture.
Teams 7 Fruitful teams engage in corporate prayer and fasting.
Fruitful teams value and prioritize seeking God’s ways through prayer and fasting together.
Teams 8 Fruitful teams expect every team member to be involved in sharing the gospel.
Within fruitful teams, all team members view themselves as a means for God to communicate his truth and love to the host people. The members will have different personalities, gifting and daily job descriptions—from the mother of young children to the businessperson. But their interactions with host people are characterized by their availability to respond to God and reveal Jesus Christ through their character and witness. This contrasts with teams that expect only a few members to carry out the task of evangelism.
Teams 9 Fruitful teams value their female members as essential partners in ministry, facilitating their active involvement.
Fruitful teams recognize the necessity for women to reach women with the gospel message. They help the women on the team to give energy and time to developing relationships and contributing their gifts. This contrasts with teams that regard their male team members as the primary workers.
To assess your team on these Fruitful Practices, we encourage you to use our team assessment tool.