Tonight I’m thinking about the podcast episode that comes out this week on Wednesday. It’s another good one! It will be titled “Lessons From Two Laymen – What Every Pastor Needs To Hear.” On episode #70 we talk with Mark Meyers, a 200church pastor from Warrenton, MO. Mark is joined by two of his guys, Steve and Tory. Mark has done a masterful job of leading his church according to a principle I have long believed in: The ministries of a church should reflect the gifting of the people.
Mark’s guys talk about how he approached them as a pastor, looking for what made them tick, and what types of activities would make their eyes light up. It seems that he’s tailored his ministry around the gifting of the people in his church.
What Steve and Tory share is invaluable for a small church pastor to hear. Steve and Tory are part of Mark’s leadership team and integral to their sports outreach ministry. I found myself reviewing in my mind how I interact with the folks in our town and the people in our church. I was challenged by their perspectives.
One of my mantras has been that phrase, the ministries of a church should reflect the gifting of the people – is that true in your church? Or do you find yourself trying to recruit people to prop up ministries that should have been discontinued long ago. Henry Cloud would call them “Necessary Endings.” And, he would smile as he said it!
I was also thinking about something John Maxwell has long said, which he calls the Law of the Inner Circle: Those closest to you determine the level of your success. Well, I would adjust that a little for this conversation and say, Those in your church determine the ministries of your church.
They not only determine the ministries of your church, but they determine the level of success of those ministries!
I am also thinking about Rick Warren’s S.H.A.P.E. philosophy. He says that a helpful way for a person to figure out what ministry God has designed them for is to assess their S.H.A.P.E. – Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. When we assess those five areas of our life, we get a good picture of both how God has designed us intrinsically, and how he has shaped us by our experiences in life.
I’ve never considered this before, but I think you could assess the S.H.A.P.E. of an entire church. On a whole, what types of spiritual gifting does the church have? What do the people in your church really get passionate about? What are the skillsets of the people in your church? What kind of a personality does your church possess? Finally, what experiences has your church body gone through, as a group?
Let me finish with this analogy
Let’s say you bought a five-acre plot of land just covered with trees, thick trees. When I was a kid, we’d call them, “the woods”. We would say we were going to play in “the woods.” So you bought a chunk of land just covered with “woods.”
Let’s say you wanted to know what was in those woods. Would you google “What is in the woods?” Would you do a search on environmental sites to try to determine what is generally in the woods? What you ask people in your town what they think is usually in “the woods” around them? No to all of the above, if you really want to know.
Here’s what you would do – take a walk in the woods! Look! Figure it out for yourself!
So, if you want to decide what kinds of ministries you should have in your church, would you google, “important church ministries”? Maybe you’d do a search for “ministries in a small church”? No, and no.
Take a walk! Talk to the people in your church. Get to know them. Why, you could even order Rick’s Purpose Driven S.H.A.P.E. class materials and run people through them if you wanted to.
These were just some random thoughts as I consider the wonderful talk Jonny and I had with Mark, Tory, and Steve. You’re going to enjoy episode #70. And you’ll be challenged and encouraged too. I promise. Have a great week leading, feeding, and LOVING your people!
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