Team Development: The “Yes, And…” of Ministry

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33

Team Development: The “Yes, And…” of Ministry
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Team Development: The “Yes, And…” of Ministry

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NOTE: The first segment of this article ran on the Worship Tech Director website on Friday, June 16, 2017: “The Team Jesus Template, Part I”

Once the foundational elements of ministry are in place – Bible study, small group relations, a clear mission, and feedback commitment – the most unpredictable part of teamwork begins: Working together.

Feedback has merit. However, the manner it is expressed is another kettle.

Hard as it may be to grasp, teamwork among Christ-followers can be most challenging. As more than one church leader has expressed, “Ministry wouldn’t be bad … if it wasn’t for the people.”

For people to move forward in ministry, leaders must study how Jesus led. A key part of Jesus leading was his communication process of bringing differing parties into agreement. The Team Jesus Template offers some steps and scriptures to study.

4. Embrace “Yes, And…”

Feedback has merit. However, the manner it is expressed is another kettle. In fact, how team members speak to each other in general – particularly leaders to staffers – can negate even the most insightful report or encouraging review.

Two words, “Yes, And…,” allow for creativity and disagreement without dismissing ideas, for it allows team members to be included and heard. “Yes, And…” are words of grace.

“Yes, And…” is a theater technique that is the basis of the improvisational style of performance seen on NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live.” Its practitioners and students have included actors Bill Murray, Robin Williams and Tina Fey. In effect, “Yes, And…” means, “Yes, I hear what you say, and here is what I wish to add.” This perspective is contrary to “Yes, But…” a habit of quashing ideas, often before they’ve been uttered, because of past failures or relationships. “Yes, But…” demoralizes. “Yes, And…” uplifts, as noted by Rev. John Herron, a pastor who planted LifeChurch, a multisite church in Michigan, who studied the process at The Second City Theater in Chicago. “Trust is built through ‘Yes,’ which is essential when you are journeying out into the unknown together.”

Jesus powerfully used “Yes, And…” with the woman at the well (“You are right that you have no husband…”, the Caesar coin toss (“Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”) and with Pontius Pilate (“Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so.”)

How does this “Yes, And…” approach compare with your team communication? Are you typically “Yes, And…” or “Yes, But…”? How might your environment change by becoming “Yes, And-ers…”? For more “Yes, And…” ministry applications, study any of these books as a small group study. Hatch by C. McNair Wilson; Holy Shift by Jonathan Herron; Yes, And…, by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.

More About Michael Edgar Myers
Michael Edgar Myers has been serving in performance ministry for more than 25 years. He is the founding director of Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries which uses music, theater, and multi-media to inspire Christ-followers in their walk with Jesus Christ, and those who are curious about Christ to embrace a relationship with Him.
Get in Touch:    More by Michael Edgar Myers

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