You Are! Everyone Is!
Are you part of a church or community that wants to engage more of its people in the work of the organization? My guess is yes! Whether you are a pastor, lay leader or a group leader you all struggle with having enough people to do the work. You all need to involve more people.
First, let’s start with a personality check. Ask yourself if you tend to behave like Moses in Exodus chapter 18? If your behavior is “I’ll just do it myself. It’s just easier.” I want to be your Jethro.
“What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you: you cannot handle it alone….Teach them the decrees and laws and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform….That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain and all these people will go home satisfied.” (select verses 17 – 23)
Second, note what Ephesians 4:11-12 says to leaders in the church. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…”
Finally, recognize that ALL God’s people are called to do His work. Not just the ones you like or know.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
Continually Needing to Initiate Serving verses Motivated Members
Certainly you can recruit, nominate, or invite someone to serve in the church or a ministry. (Notice all of those words- recruit, nominate, invite- elicit different feelings.) But know that you will likely have to go back to that person and ask them to serve somewhere again down the road. This is our typical system in the church. Serve by invitation. Often that invitation is poorly done. Yikes. I’d like to propose a different idea.
Do you remember the old Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime?”
If you invite, it’s like giving them the fish. But if you walk along-side them, teach them and help them understand how God has uniquely designed them, gifted them, and called them to be part of His plan, to live out their faith and serve – you will have taught them how to live for the rest of their lives.
Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you not invite someone to partner in ministry with you. (Notice the feelings those words- “invite, partner in ministry” evoke.) I would encourage you to regularly do so!
But if you develop an effective Member Ministry System to equip people they will be God designed, Christ compelled, Holy Spirit filled, self-motivated individuals living out their faith and seeking out- on their own -ways to serve. This allows you and your church to multiply ministry! It’s like adding additional staff without the cost.
- So your end goal for the individual member is for them to understand their gifts and be motivated to live out their faith through the gifts and passions that God has given them.
- As the Pastor or key leadership you goal is to equip and empower individuals. “You go and I’ll be right here cheering you on!” is the attitude you want to have as you unleash your members for ministry.
YOU are responsible for engaging people in ministry. Would you like to have some help creating an intentional sustainable system to effectively engage people in ministry that is meaningful for them and where they can joyfully and serve?
We’d love to help you do just that! At Trinity we created a system to equip our members through a self-discovery process. This allowed them to be more strategic in where they served. When they found a great fit they were more faithful and joyful in their serving. The also became self- initiated servants looking for opportunities. Could your community benefit from more people like that?