Creating a Member Ministry System: Getting Leadership Buy-In
In the church, before Luther’s time there was a very skewed view of how the church was to be done. In the Catholic Church only the priests were allowed to read and explain the Word of God and to do the work of God. Luther reformed that thinking and yet we see many church bodies slip back into that way of thinking.
- ~Only the pastors have a good enough understanding of God’s Word in order to lead a Bible class…
- ~Only the pastors know how to lead the church…
- ~My people don’t step up so I have to do the work.
- ~Only the pastors and “called workers”(you fill in the blank) ___________________
The flip side is also true. Members think
- ~We hire pastors and teachers to do the work of God- that’s what they are paid to do. So I don’t have to do anything.
- ~I’m not good enough, smart enough, trained enough to lead a Bible study or a teen group…
- ~I don’t do outreach. We pay an Outreach minister to do that.
But what does God say about how church is to be done?
In Ephesians 4:11-13 we read, “ So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
In 1 Corinthians 12:27 we read, “27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
So how do you convince your leadership that things need to change in your church?
Begin by assessing how your church is functioning. Here are a series of questions to get you started.
- Who is responsible for ministry at your church?
- How would you, in three words, describe the atmosphere of your church?
- Are you seeing growth and forward movement in your congregation?
- Which of the following words best describes your pastor’s leadership style?
Visionary, Leading, Managing, Maintaining, Controlling, Stifling
- Would you say your congregation’s attitude is “serve us” or an attitude of “service?”
- How many members are actively engaged in serving at your church?
- How many members are actively serving outside of your church in your larger community?
- Are new members sincerely encouraged and welcomed to participate in meaningful service?
- Who is primarily responsible for inviting members to serve?
- Is there any orientation or training provided to members who serve in your congregation?
- What letter grade would you give your congregation for time and talents stewardship? A B C D F
Start having one on one conversation with you church leaders and your pastor about how your church is engaging or not engaging people in ministry and how as a congregation you can multiply ministry through developing a member ministry system.
Talk with your pastor(s) about where they think their personal gifts and passions are for ministry and start by aligning their gifts and talents with those responsibilities in your congregation. Be sure to express that you know God does NOT give anyone all of the spiritual gifts needed to do ministry. Here’s another tool to help you have the conversation with your pastor.
This assessment is for your Pastor-
What’s on Your Plate?
~List all of your responsibilities-
~Which ones do you love doing?
~Which ones are you particularly gifted to do?
~Which ones are you not gifted to do?
~What responsibilities are draining you?
~Which responsibilities should you get off your plate?
~Could you benefit from a system to help find others who have the gifts that compliment yours?
Finally, read the book Me to We: Unleashing Your Church by Alan Nelson with your pastors and leaders. See what the possibilities look like for your congregation.
Invite us to meet with your pastors and church leadership to discuss how we can walk alongside you and help you create a Member Ministry System to Unleash God’s People!