March 30, 2007
God’s call on people’s lives is a compelling force for ministry…
It is so common in the church to hear the lament, “How do we get enough volunteers to staff our ministry? We just can’t seem to get enough people to sign-up.” This is a frustrating and painful feeling for any church leader to experience…so much to do and so few to do it. At the same time, people are wondering, “Is this the best way I can serve my church? I seem like just another warm body.”
There is another way to look at this challenge, however. Allow room for God to act, just as He did in so many stories in the Bible. God called people to a task…and even when they refused, He persisted. Many of them finally answered and were blessed. In today’s church, God’s voice may not be quite as obvious, but the expectation that we will serve in ways that fulfill God’s plan for us remains a powerful aspect of the Christian life.
By adopting both a personal and church-wide commitment to call, and by implementing a formal process of call, we can open ourselves up to God’s intentions for our service. And we can directly influence the effectiveness of our ministries by placing the “right people in the right roles.” A call process that includes prayer, reading Scripture, gaining the insights of others…and more prayer…can help both the ministry team seeking to call members and the individual seeking clarification of her call.
So, stop looking for volunteers at your church…no more sign-up sheets or “help wanted” ads in the Sunday bulletin. Instead, start seeking God’s call on the lives of those in your congregation. God will be praised, individuals will grow through their service, and your ministry will be stronger.
Listen to our podcast on Call
March 23, 2007
Effective ministry has always been based on great relationships…
It’s usually pretty easy to see the “stuff” of ministry…the programs, activities, resources…the tangible tools that seem to define the basis of our service to others. For quite some time, these elements of ministry, and the excitement and energy created by those engaged in their use, captured much of the attention of church leaders. In that context, a great ministry was one with plenty of “stuff”, including a high-energy ministry team to go with it.
Today, we understand that, regardless of the ministry model and the resources supporting it, the real basis of effectiveness in ministry is the quality of relationships that are formed…relationships between those serving, between those serving and those served, and most importantly, between those in ministry and God. Thankfully, among the many gifts that Jesus has bestowed on us is His model of Christian love and commitment to living “in relationship” with others.
Because of Christ, we are able to minister with others in a manner that helps us to think, decide and act in ways that are more like God’s intentions for us. In that way, we can deal lovingly with the “unlovable”, work productively through conflicts with those whose ideas differ from ours, and deal with challenging situations and circumstances without damaging hearts. Jesus and His disciples set a wonderful 1st century ministry example for us that didn’t rely on trendy curriculum, bigger and better youth events, or PowerPoint slides…just intimate, caring connections with people in need.
The Bible provides us with a powerful theology of relationships that can be the basis for effective ministry today…just as it always has. What is your team doing to ensure that relationships are at the heart of ministry?
Listen to our podcast about Christian Relationships
March 15, 2007
What do LOGOS and Miss America have in common? It is not just that we are both bright and beautiful! No, it is more than this. The current Miss America, Lauren Nelson, also grew up in a LOGOS program at Centenary United Methodist Church in Lawton, OK where she remains a member. In an article in the United Methodist Reporter, she talks of the importance of her church family, her relationship with God, and growing up in LOGOS. Read all about it in this online version.