I’m Baaaack, It has been almost a year since my last post. I could give you lots of reasons, but you really would not care. It has been a season of building for our ministry both literally and figuratively. And writing has never been my forte. I am going to try to make a priority once a month for people who actually care to read this. My hope is that it will encourage you to think differently about small church ministry.
I have been fortunate in my life to be associated with some very successful business people. Many are successful entrepreneurs or people in the top leadership of their companies. I am like a sponge when I am around them and I ask plenty of questions to see if I can adapt any of those principles to ministry. Over the years, through those conversations and plenty of reading, I have assembled a series of principles that I have found helpful to ministry. So I will try and focus on one of those each month for the next year.
FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE, NOT THE JOB.
One of my business mentors explains it this way, When he hears a highly competent and successful person has left a company, he meets with them. He tries to hire them and create a job for them within his company. He explained that good people are hard to get and that if you give them the right tools, they will make you money. He did this with an expensive IT guy and he created a position for him within his company. The guy brought so many improvements to the company, my mentor more than recouped the guys salary within the first year.
I think this is an area we often miss in ministry. We establish our programs and then seek people to fill them. We often fight to fill spots and beg people to serve. A number of years ago, we joined our youth and adult Sunday School into the same class until we had leaders willing to teach the teens. I am currently in the process of applying this principle in our ministry to seniors. God brought a seasoned couple into our church who had served elderly people in a previous ministry. We created a ministry for them to take communion and regularly visit our shut ins. We are currently in the process of helping establish an offsite counseling ministry based on this concept. God brought a person with a passion and background in counseling into our fellowship
It is a different mindset for me in ministry, but a valuable one. The direction is not driven by my passion, things that I read, trends in ministry, or seminars that I attend. I believe God will bring us the people if He wants us to have a specific ministry. In our application of this principle, it is the people and their gifts that drive what ministries we have at any given time. In other words, we are trying to focus on the people, not the job (or ministry). Yes at times it is frustrating because we do not offer the ministries that others may offer. The board and I ask God to simply provide the people. When someone asks me why we do not have a certain ministry, I explain that we do not have the people (and then I ask if they would pray about helping lead it). It is an unusual approach, but one that seems to be serving us well.
THOT: What ministries would you add or subtract if you based ministry on the people instead of the program?