When it comes to connecting people in ministries, we should learn a lesson from the Cable TV companies – we should bundle! Instead of overseeing twelve different ministries in your 200church, what if we appointed four volunteers, or board members, or deacons, or elders over three ministries each? Then you would only need to connect with four people instead of twelve.
Some people are wired to serve in a ministry, others to lead a ministry, and still others to oversee several ministries in your church. It is very common to have people who serve, and people who lead, but too many 200churches do not bundle. They do not utilize people to oversee several ministries at once.
In our 200church, we have doctors, business owners, teachers and professors, supervisors, small business entrepreneurs, people who are self employed working from home, etc. Even though our church is relatively small, we have many people who can oversee several ministries at once, and I'll bet your church does too! All we have to do is change our thinking, expectations, and our approach.
Perhaps our thinking is just too small. By nature I am a person who enjoys serving more than I enjoy being served. That's actually a large part of why I became a pastor, to serve others. If I am not careful, my internal make-up will unwittingly work against me in this area of how I think about equipping the Body to serve.
I have had to learn to think differently about this. I used to think that people were too busy to serve. Now I know that we make time for the priorities in our lives. I used to think that people came to church to receive ministry, now I know that people are the church, and that they were made for ministry. I used to think that I was the one equipped for ministry, now I know that my main role is to equip believers to serve each other and our community.
I have had to adjust my expectations about believers serving in ministry. I used to expect very little, and that is what I got. I used to expect people would not want to serve, but now I expect that when I match people with ministry according to their gifts and passion, they love to serve and they live to serve. I used to expect that people would not do "the job" as well as I could, but now I'm beginning to realize that some people are better suited for certain responsibilities than I could ever be.
Too often in 200churches, we act reactively when someone quits or steps out of a ministry. We respond to the crisis by grabbing anyone to fill the slot. Instead of trying to push someone into a ministry on the fly, we should concentrate on finding people early and equipping them for ministry. As leaders of 200churches, we should keep the deck stacked, and the bench deep, so that there are always others ready to step in, move up, or slide over to meet a ministry need.
Bundle for Survival!
This is an area where we are growing in our approach. In fact, the way we think, what we expect, and how we approach - these are all areas where we constantly have to be intentional. These things certainly don't just happen by accident in a 200church!
As our churches grow from 25 to 50, 50 to 100, or 100 to 200, we have to develop mid-level leadership between us and our members serving in ministry. Where most 200churches fail is that we don't intentionally delegate two or more ministries under one lay leader's oversight. When we do, it makes our administrative tasks so much more doable and allows us to accomplish more by personally overseeing fewer people.
If we have five or ten Sunday School classes, we often will have a director of some sort overseeing them. In the same way, we can bundle similar ministries together and place one director to oversee them all.
We have bundled youth and children's ministries; small groups, fellowship, and assimilation; discipleship and pastoral care; and we are currently working on bundling greeters, ushers, and hospitality under one couple who will oversee the recruitment, training, and scheduling of all three.
We do have to think differently about letting go of ministry in order to hand it over to capable and passionate members of our church. We can change our expectations and see how people live up to higher levels when we believe in them. And when we think differently and expect different outcomes, our approach naturally changes in positive ways.
While "bundling" may not always work for our financial benefit in the world of utilities, it sure can help us navigate and survive a growth spurt in our 200church!
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