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Ministry Placement System

We speak often of the great commandment (Matthew 22:37), and the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) but there is also the great charge given by Peter.

I Peter 4:10 says, “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”  This great charge must be the goal of every church regardless of its size. The goal is to involve every believer in ministry by using their gifts to serve others.  The truth is that saved people are supposed to serve people and willingly sacrifice for others.

Dynamic Church Planting International training says, “Every believer should be serving in their local church based on the Bible’s teachings about spiritual gifts. 
Peter says that everyone’s spiritual gift should be used to serve others. This is a means of imparting God’s grace to people. 
Paul lists seven different spiritual gifts. Concerning each it says, ‘let him use it: according to the grace given him.’ and ’let him use it in proportion to his faith.’  So, God’s design for the church is that it be led by leaders, taught by teachers, and administrated by administrators, etc.”

DCPI continues, “You must develop a system of inviting, observing, orienting, scheduling, equipping, developing and celebrating those who use their spiritual gifts in the church. 
As a church grows and attracts new believers, pastors must teach about: the importance of service, the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9), and the nature and purpose of spiritual gifts. 
The process of placing people into ministry can be quite simple. This is a key component of a discipleship process.”  The church has enough spectators and must continue to provide opportunities to serve.

Here are some ways to enlist volunteersand you can begin by listing ministry needs and sharing them with your people.

  1. onsider publishing a list of serving opportunities and spiritual gifts. 
You could also preach a series of messages about serving and spiritual gifts.  Then develop a way to invite people to sign up for a ministry that appeals to them. 
Consider offering a class about spiritual gifts and giveeach student a spiritual gifts test to help them discern where they might best be able to be a blessing to their church.
  2. Pray just like Jesus instructed us in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  Your first prayer should be, “Lord, who should I invite to serve in this particular area?” Before you approach someone about serving, ask God to prepare their heart and purify your motives. Your invitation should be based on a desire to see people find a fulfilling role in your church. You are inviting them to fulfill God’s agenda and purpose in their lives.
  3. Look for people who seem to be a perfect fit for a specific need. Identify a need and then as you pray look for the right person to invite to meet that need.  You desire to find the right person serving in the right place, in the right way, and at the right time.  Look for people who are not currently serving and you believe might be interested in that particular area.  Offer them an opportunity to observe before they have to commit to a ministry team. See this “first serve” as a way for them to kick the tires and see if this is a ministry fit for them.
  4. Cast vision for the importance of different ministries by emphasizing the benefits of their service.
Show them how their ministry will benefit the recipients of it and how their service will benefit the whole church.  Also, show them how their ministry will benefit them by being a blessing to them andhow their ministry will delight God.  Offer them an opportunity to observe.  Find ways people can observe a ministry before they commit to a ministry team and make sure they have a good time when they do check it out.
  5. You will want to debrief their experience within 48 hours. Once you have invited them, arrange for the potential volunteer to accompany one of the most enthusiastic and best members of that particular ministry team. First impressions last! You want the potential volunteer to have a good time so they will want to join the team. Discuss how they think the experience went.  Give the new volunteer a short-term commitment initially (for three months or so) to ensure that the commitment is doable.
  6. Do background checks and provide for them an orientation.  Make sure you use a service that will provide background checks with official documentation. 
Barnabas vouched for Saul (who later became the Apostle Paul) when he wanted to join the church in Jerusalem. (Acts 9:26, 27) 
The twelve apostles instructed the church to choose “seven men of good repute.” (Acts 6:3)  If they will be serving with children in any capacity this is especially important.  Do not over look this important step in the ministry placement system.
  7. Remember that all people who volunteer should have an orientation. They should never be thrown into the ministry unprepared. Ideally, new volunteers will be given good job descriptions. Those will include what is expected of them: when, where, for how long, etc. The orientation should also include the ministry’s purpose and values. People are waiting on someone to ask them to help. Most people want to do a good work and that is why you must develop a system that shows how to ask, when to ask, and who should ask.

A great big thank you to Dynamic Planting International and their training materials New Church Dynamics from which this article was adapted.  This training is worth attending for any size church and will be offered May 21-23 at the BMA of Texas offices in Waxahachie, TX.  If interested in attending let me know!

5 Ingredients for a Dynamic Team

Team Dynamics

     Once you have your “dream” team together and functioning it can quickly become a nightmare.  Is everyone working together on the agreed vision of the church?  Is there a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie?  Does everyone desire to work together for the common good and health of everyone involved?  You must continually be working on team dynamics with clear communication because the potential for misunderstandings and individual agendas will always be present.

     First, there must be a willingness to lead through other people.  If you are not careful, your commitment to excellence will hurt your desire to invest time into developing leaders.  The temptation is to think you are the only one who can do things the way we want them done.  You know what I’m talking about because at one time or the other you have probably thought or said, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!”  That actually is not true!
The risk here is to trust other people and delegate responsibility but this risk must be taken.

     Second, there must be a focus on training leaders to do the work of the ministry.  Remember, Jesus did not ignore the crowds but He did focus on His small group by pouring into their lives and encouraging them to do greater things then He did.  It has been said that Jesus, “influenced twelve, invested in three, and was intimately close to one.”  Someone has said that to encourage means to “pour courage into someone else.”  It is easy to develop a culture in our ministries where everything depends on us but that is not scriptural.  Who are you pouring courage into through intentional relationships so that they might develop into reproducing leaders?
     Third, you need to delegate and pass off certain tasks so you can focus on leadership development.  If you are too busy to mentor potential leaders then you are too busy!
Take a closer look at what you are doing and realize that 90-95% of what you do could be done by someone else, especially if they are properly trained.  We must make time to develop leaders and develop a multiplication culture of reproducing disciples and leaders. What would happen if you were to dedicate 5-10 hours a week to mentoring others who would then mentor others?

     Fourth, realize that if you want more out of your team you must put more into them.  Gary Rohrmayer puts it this way, “The Pygmalion Principle says that leaders tend to rise to the level of your expectation.  The key here is just not having high expectations but making these expectations known.”  Gary suggests three areas of concern: 

  • Connecting Relationally: Am I getting into their world, their frame of
    reference?
  • Clarifying Strategically: Have I helped them process through a problem
    or internalized a new learning?
  • Committing Specifically: Have I helped them move forward in their
    ministry?  Can we see specific progress?

     Fifth, make sure you value your team for who they are not just for the job they can get done.  While I do not remember who said it I do remember being challenged by this statement, “Are you using people to build your church or are you using your church to build up your people.”  That is especially true about the leadership team you are working with whether they are paid, volunteer or a combination of both.  If you want to build great team dynamics make sure they are praying together but also playing together.  How are you intentionally working at developing one another spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and physically?

     When a leader is committed to developing other leaders they are not interested in being the star but in helping the team members to shine!  The focus of leading your team to have the right dynamics requires asking the right questions in order to train and lead them up:

  • What have you done to prepare this leader for this opportunity?
  • What can you do to equip and empower this leader?
  • What can you do to help this leader grow and improve?
  • How can you coach and mentor followers to become leaders?

     Healthy churches have built great team dynamics into their leadership culture.