What Ministry Expectations Does Your Church Have?
How does a church move away from the 20 percent stat? You know the statistic that says 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work of ministry in their local church. I was thinking about this driving into the office this morning. The answer that popped in my head when I asked myself that question was “ministry expectations.”
What are the expectations your church has of its members? At our church we have what we call “The Big 3”: Serve in Ministry, Plug into a Connection Group, Faithful to Sunday morning corporate worship.
I grew up in churches where a person who was interested in becoming a member would walk the aisle during the invitation, sit on the front row, fill out a card, Pastor would then introduce them as members. No period of getting to know the person, in fact it could be the first Sunday that person set foot into the church. No period for them to get to know the church, how it operates, how it functions.
For the past 16 years I have been part of a church that holds a new members class. In that class the potential members hear the history of our church, learn how we function, read our bylaws and policies, learn what our vision and purpose is. Then two weeks later we have a new member lunch/interview for the potential members. That’s right! We interview: The potential member fills out an application and then sits down with a couple of our members to be interviewed.
Our church currently has 93 percent of our members serving on ministry teams. 93 percent! I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Quite honestly I’m blown away by this and also feel very humbled that God is letting me in on this adventure.
I believe that one of the steps we took as a church to turn the tide was to have expectations that clearly lay out what is expected of our partners. Some would ask, “Doesn’t that hinder growth?” Not at our church. We have grown and continue to grow. Our church has a vision and purpose from God and it is going to take all hands on deck to carry out that vision and purpose.
During the interview we ask the potential member what three ministries they would like to check out. Many already have an idea or know for sure where they want to serve. Some take a few ministries out on a test drive to see if it’s a fit. Down the road they take a discipleship class that helps them to discover how God has wired them to serve. This opens up more ideas of ministry for members who take the class.
Last week we had interviews with several potential members. Every new member is now connected with a ministry team leader who will show them the ropes, help them assimilate into the ministry team. I know from observation that serving in a ministry you are passionate about is like glue that keeps members from sliding out the back door. Within 24 hours of the interview the team leader receives the new member’s information to connect with them.
What are your church’s expectations? Are your members expected to serve in ministry? Are they taught that they are to use their spiritual gifts in their local church to help build the church? What steps would your church need to take to move more members into ministry?
I love watching believers roll up their sleeves and serve each other and serve Christ.
This article originally appeared here.