I recently purchased a copy of Harold Westing’s Church Staff Handbook. I’m hoping to learn much from Westing in the area of being more effective as a church leadership and ministry team. Though the book is a little dated, it’s widely recognized as being a must-read.

One of the most important foundations to our church’s leadership and ministry teams is the need for healthy relationships. We’ve constantly said that we want our relationships to not be formed out of obligation, but by love. This theme seems to permeate Church Staff Handbook, so I’m excited to continue reading it. In fact, Westing summarizes Louis Evans’ Covenant to Care by providing us with eight principles on ministry team relationships:

The Covenant of Affirmation (Agape Love) – I will love you and affirm you no matter what you have said or done. I love you as you are and for what Christ wants to make of you.

The Covenant of Availability – Anything I have – time, energy, wisdom, finances – is all at your disposal. I give myself to you and the covenant group in a unique way.

The Covenant of Regularity – I covenant to give a regular part of my time to this group when it decides to meet. I consider that time to be of highest priority on my schedule.

The Covenant of Prayer – “I promise to pray for you, to uphold you, and to attempt to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit concerning your needs.”

The Covenant of Openness – I will show myself to you, letting you know who I am as a person in feeling, history, hopes, and hurts; in other words, I will need you!

The Covenant of Honest – I will be honest in my mirroring back to you what I sense and feel coming from you.

The Covenant of Confidentiality – What goes on in this group stays here. I will say nothing that may be traced back or that could be injurious or embarrassing to my covenant partners.

The Covenant of Accountability – You have a right to expect growth from me so that I may give you the fullness of the gifts that God has bestowed upon me and fulfill my God-created designs. Therefore I will not languish in the process of growth.

I like these principles and guidelines a lot. They seem to reflect the type of relationships that Scripture describes for Christians. What would you add or how would you describe these concepts in your own terms?

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