The Gifts I’d Like to Give…Camaraderie

We’re doing a series of posts to finish the year examining gifts that our team can “pay forward” to the churches and leaders we serve, so they in turn can help the families they serve to have an exceptional church experience. Today’s gift is the gift of camaraderie.

God created us to be in community with one another. Jesus repeatedly refers to His followers as brothers and sisters in His family. We were designed to be interdependent upon one another…nobody gets to have all the gifts. We were meant to have a place where we feel we belong…a place where we’re accepted, encouraged and challenged at the same time. The church is intended to be that community here on Earth.

I used the term camaraderie as opposed to community because camaraderie conveys a sense of trust and connection that forms when engaged in a mutual effort against a common obstacle or enemy. While we certainly experience a “peace that transcends all understanding” through faith in Jesus, our significance is fulfilled when we’re able to fully use our God-given gifts and talents for the purpose of re-establishing His Kingdom. We want the families connecting with the churches we serve to share in that opportunity.

I very much appreciate the camaraderie that’s present within our ministry team, and with other like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ in other ministry organizations. But I don’t think camaraderie occurs by accident. Our team was very intentional in seeking out wisdom from Scripture and respected leaders in creating a culture in which camaraderie could take root. There were three very intentional decisions our team made that I believe promoted the culture our Key Ministry team enjoys…

We were purposeful in avoiding the “cult of personality” in developing our organizational culture. Lots of Christian organizations derive their identities from their founder, or in the case of churches, the Senior Pastor. That never seemed especially healthy to me. It’s too easy for organizations to be defined by their leader as opposed to their cause…in our case, helping churches reach families affected by disabilities. Our cause is too big to be served by any one person. We always want our team to be able to accommodate highly talented people with a passion for advancing the mission.

We’re intentional in seeking opportunities for all of our key leaders to “shine.” Providing “platform time” for each of our team members at major conferences and proactively seeking out opportunities for every person to use his or her gifts and talents to optimal effect helps promote the culture of trust necessary to promote camaraderie and helps to make our team far stronger. In my day job, the best teaching and research centers have multiple thought leaders who are recognized for their unique areas of expertise. Why should ministry be different? Imagine what our churches would look like if they truly tapped into the gifts and talents of their people and provided them with opportunities to put their gifts on display?

We also seek to be intentional in affording others outside of our team the opportunity to “shine.”  We don’t have all the answers to the needs of the churches we serve or the families they serve. When we afford other like minded leaders the opportunity to serve, we make new friends and become better by learning from their wisdom and experience.

One aspect of my ministry gig I most enjoy is offering new volunteers opportunities to “get in the game” through using their gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom. One of our team members gave me a framed photo (below) of Abby Hamilton and Annie Wetherbee from their appearance at the Through The Roof Summit at Cedarville University this past September. Imagine what God will be able to accomplish through the two of them with such an early start.

I suspect few things please God as much as when we enjoy one another’s company working together to serve His purposes!

Please consider including Key Ministry in your year-end giving plans. Your gifts to our Annual Fund Campaign make possible the provision of all the training, consultation, resources and support at no charge to the churches we serve. Online contributions can be made through our ministry website. We are also seeking friends to serve as advocates for Key Ministry with the Missions Board or Stewardship Committee of their local churches. Please contact Rebecca Hamilton at for more information.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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