The first time I took a bass boat out fishing, when I came back to the pier for lunch, I forgot to tie the boat to the moorings… and it drifted off! I had to bum a ride with another fisherman to go get the boat – talk about embarrassing.
I was journaling this morning about what ministry moorings I have to always stay connected to as a leader. No matter what the activity level, no matter how exciting ministry gets, I have to stay committed to these moorings:
- The church is in the business of making reproducing disciples (followers of Jesus)… disciples that reproduce themselves into other disciples. It doesn’t matter how many people, dollars, services, or headlines you grab… if you are not creating reproducing disciples, you are wasting your time!
- You don’t need to put out more flyers, more brochures… they won’t help. Most of the people who show up to a weekend service come with a friend who invites them. If people aren’t inviting their friends, that’s likely a vision or execution problem and not a promotions problem. The path to effectiveness is not more ministry opportunities (Bigger! More options! More hype!). The path to effectiveness is to strategically and ruthlessly select which connecting points you WILL offer, and filter the rest out. Say “No” clearly, lovingly, and often.
- Recruiting. It is EVERY followers responsibility to recruit other people to serve, to participate in group life, and to attend weekend gatherings. It IS NOT the job of a select team or the staff. Any follower who is not engaged in recruiting is simply not an obedient follower of Jesus. Yes it is uncomfortable for some… it is part of the following process. Our leader was crucified… this isn’t about our comfort!
- Reproducing. It is also EVERY followers responsibility to reproduce themselves into other people. PERIOD. Teaching, training, coaching, supporting, encouraging, and celebrating are all part of the life that Jesus calls us to. A church that reproduces itself at the individual level grows.
- Lead your ministry. If you can’t where you are, go somewhere you can. One of the greatest sins of the church in America is that we have subordinated men and women who have dedicated their lives to hearing God’s voice and giving all of their time, attention, and energy to obeying that voice, to business people, who think about the church a few hours a week in the name of “accountability”. If God called you to lead, then lead… knowing that He will also hold you accountable (and that hurts sometimes).
Stay tuned for part two…