I guess I would begin with another question. Who is responsible for engaging members in ministry at your church? Is it one of the pastors’ primary responsibilities? Is it everyone’s responsibility? No one’s responsibility? Well actually I’ve seen it done or not done all three ways! Often, when member ministry is not a specifically assigned responsibility it is actually no one’s responsibility and then we wonder why we aren’t involving more people or why the 20% off the people are doing 80% of the work.
Hiring a Member Ministry Coordinator can be a new idea for many congregations but there is great benefit. Today, I’m going to suggest hiring a lay person as your church’s Member Ministry Coordinator for a number of reasons.
- ~In the WELS, we often think our church staff has to come from MLC or be a seminary graduate. Not so. By hiring a lay person to be your coordinator of member ministry you are communicating trust in ordinary people to do God’s work and isn’t that exactly who he has entrusted it to?
- ~A lay member working as a lay person in your church is more relatable to another lay person. Often lay people never feel good enough or qualified enough to be involved with ministry. A lay person can help bridge that gap between someone not feeling good enough or qualified enough and able to serve.
- ~A lay person also brings a new perspective to the called worker staff as they represent what lay people are thinking.
- ~Having one primary driver or person who is responsible for seeing to it that a Member Ministry System is created, implemented and maintained frees up time for the pastors and assures that more people will be engaged in more meaningful ministry.
- ~It is said the average pastor can serve approximately 125 people. Generally, that number translates to the number of people actively attending worship each week. By adding staff you have additional people who can make personal contact with your members.
Hiring a spiritually mature, well-connected member of your congregation allows your coordinator to begin with the advantage of knowing the culture and the people in your church.
So let’s start by take a look as some traits of successful Member Ministry Coordinators.
- ~love the Lord and people
- ~have a positive outlook on life
- ~trust other people
- ~have a can-do attitude
- ~thrive on responsibility and leadership
- ~function as team players
- ~understand that where people are involved things can get messy and can help work through the mess
- ~believe people are capable and can carry out work without micromanagement
- ~recognize that we are all a work in progress
- ~operate well independently
- ~are persuasive
- ~enjoy making things happen
- ~function with flexibility
- ~like taking initiative
- ~able to deal with conflict
- ~operate with creativity
- ~plan well
In addition to these traits look for someone who…
- ~Feels called to this ministry
- ~Communicates effectively
- ~Listens actively
- ~Shows grace under pressure
- ~Delegates capably
- ~Is liked by the congregation
- ~Shares credit and shoulders responsibility
Where do you find this person?
- ~Look for someone who has already served as volunteer leader within your church or school.
- ~Is there someone in your congregation with a human resource background?
- ~Who in your church has the ability to motivate and inspire people?
If you could use some assistance developing a Member Ministry System contact Lori at 708-431-9496 or firstname.lastname@example.org Lori has over 30 years of experience coordinating volunteers in WELS schools and churches.