How a Team is Chosen
The teams that serve on each weekend are prayerfully and carefully chosen. The Leaders Committee helps to counsel and guide the Rectors in building each weekend team. The North Texas Tres Dias community has certain requirements and guidelines for building the teams.
First, every team member has to have attended a Tres Dias or similar weekend. Secondly, each team member has to have attended a Tres Dias School. The Rector and Leaders Committee then work to balance the team with approximately 15 team members who have never worked a weekend, 15 who have worked at least one weekend but not more than 3, and 15 that have worked more than 3 weekends. It’s preferred that each section head have previous team experience in that section (kitchen, dorm, palanca, etc.). With much prayer, and a community experience list, the Rectors and the Leaders Committee select an initial list of team members.
In addition to balancing the team’s experience, the Rector and Leader’s Committee work to ensure a balance of team members from different churches and denominations. The Rector then begins extending invitations and the team really begins to take shape as the Lord demonstrates His sovereignty over the Rector’s well laid plans (in other words, the final team make up frequently looks quite different than the Rector’s initial list).
So, is there anything you can do to influence your ability to work on a team? Yes! First and foremost, attend a North Texas Tres Dias school. Completing the school is a prerequisite to serving on a team. Remain active in the community through participating in seculeas, serenades, reunion groups and volunteer opportunities. Be open to working any position on the team. The Rector will not ask you where you would like to serve but will ask you to serve in a specific capacity; trust the Lord that He will enable you to carry out the responsibilities – the Rector has a specific reason for the team assignments.
Make your desire to serve on a team known to the leaders in the community; their names are always included in the newsletter. Sponsor others and look for opportunities to serve even it you are not chosen for a team. Serving meals, assisting with takedown at the end of a weekend, making palanca and hosting a seculea are all opportunities to serve the weekends while not serving on the team.
Serving is a blessing. Serving on a team is a great blessing. It takes commitment to attend the preparation meetings, a willingness to be obedient, and a heart and spirit motivated to serve without regard to personal acknowledgement or thanks. It’s a fantastic opportunity to put true servanthood into action and a great place to practice what we should be doing every day.
A Decision Not Taken Lightly
LET YOUR YES BE YES…
So, you just got off the phone with the Rector of the next NTTD weekend who asked you to serve on the team. Having both received those calls and been the one making calls as Rector of NTTD Men’s 68, I understand the urge to immediately answer, “YES!” But whether it’s your first time to serve or you’re a veteran of many weekends, I encourage you to take some time to prayerfully consider a few things before making the commitment to serve.
Are you financially able to serve? Team fees should be paid prior to or at the first team meeting. NTTD is a nonprofit ministry that conducts weekends on a very tight operating budget. We incur expenses prior to the weekends such as campground deposit and need income to offset those costs. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the cash flow to carry team member fees until sendoff.
Are you prepared for the time commitment required to serve on a team? Not just the Thursday through Sunday of the actual weekend but the Saturday team meetings to prepare for the weekend? Team meetings are a key component of a successful Tres Dias experience. It’s during these hours of planning and fellowship that God prepares our hearts for the work He will do through us during the three days. To use a sports analogy, team meetings are the practice sessions in preparation for the big game. You can’t expect to just show up on game day and be at your best without putting in the necessary work to carry out the game plan. Agreeing to serve means you’re making the commitment to attend the majority, if not all, of the scheduled team meetings.
Does your spouse and/or family fully support your decision to serve? The time spent in preparation for and on the weekend is time spent away from your home and family. In our call to raise up servant leaders in our families, churches and communities, we must remember that our first and most important ministry is in our own homes. Are you in a season of life where your spouse, children, or church family need your attention? Their needs should always take priority over serving on a Tres Dias weekend. There will always be other weekends and opportunities to serve. As stated in Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” If you’re in a season where family needs should be a priority or your plate is full at church or work, recognize it’s okay to say “No” to serving. I guarantee that the Rector will understand, and that God will honor your decision.
Which leads me to the last thing I’d encourage you to pray about before making the commitment to serve. Why are you serving? That may seem like a ridiculous question, I mean, who doesn’t want to answer God’s call to serve and be a part of another amazing Tres Dias weekend? But what is your reason for saying, “Yes?” Are you checking a spiritual box? Are you wanting a few days of peace and quite away from the obligations of work, family, and everyday life? Are you thirsty for another mountaintop experience? While we always receive some form of blessing from God as a natural byproduct of serving, we should guard against becoming ‘Tres Dias Junkies” in need of a spiritual high the weekend provides. If we truly want to be selfless like Christ, then we should have no self interest in our desire to serve.
Like many of you, I love this ministry and consider it a privilege each time I’m blessed by the opportunity to serve alongside my brothers as part of a weekend team. Before we make the commitment to serve, each of us should examine our heart to make sure we know who we’re serving, why we’re serving, and to be certain that we’re in a season to serve God with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Matthew 5:37 states “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be No’.” As anyone who has been given the honor to serve as Rector will tell you, these are God’s weekends, and we are simply His stewards. With that in mind, when God puts your name on the heart of a Rector to ask you to serve, you’re really giving your commitment to God. When you receive that call, I encourage you to take some time, pray, talk with your family, examine your heart, and let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes.’