I was recently reading a wild game cookbook and came across a recipe for Venison Stew that perked up my leadership radar. The recipe began with “procure a deer”. Needless to say, this got me thinking about the process necessary to share a great meal with family and friends.
1. Prepare to hunt. (be of legal age and residency, take and pass required course(s), purchase necessary equipment and become proficient in scent-control, stand location, the art of silence and marksmanship.
2. Go hunting. Repeat as necessary until successful.
3. Field dress, hang (preferably for about 4-7 days in a 35-38 degree environment) and butcher said hart.
4. Roast appropriate cut of meat and de-glaze pot/pan/skillet.
This is quite a lengthy process, involving a multitude of skill sets, and not a little bit of luck, and we haven’t even started the stew yet.
The second phrase that caught my attention was, “allow to simmer for several hours”. You can cook all the parts of a stew separately if you so desire, but at the end you will not have stew, but a hodgepodge of ingredients. It is the comingling of ingredients over time with a gentle fire that creates a wonderful stew.
Ministry teams are much like a good stew.
Each team requires a multitude of gifts (administration, promotion, recruitment, set-up and tear down not to mention the frontline gifts for that particular ministry), a long-term commitment and a coming-together over time with a little bit of heat in order to be truly great.
Stews can have differing ingredients and still be delicious, ministry likewise, can take differing shapes and flavors, but they all require shared mission, a unique contribution from each part and time for mutual seasoning.
Canned ministry and canned stew simply cannot measure up to the real thing. Stew on that for a while.