By David K. Bernard
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body Of Christ (Ephesians 4: 1 1-12).
God has given the fivefold ministry to the church for the “perfecting” (KJV) or the “equipping” of the believers. The saints are equipped so that they can do “the work of ministry.” Here “ministry” means “service,” or all the functions of the church. Every believer should have a ministry—not necessarily public preaching but a specific place of service in the body of Christ.
It is the task of church leaders to help each saint find his work of ministry and train him to perform that task properly. In particular, those who hold the five ministerial offices are to inspire, motivate, disciple, instruct, and prepare the saints so that everyone is an active, productive member of the body.
When each member performs his proper function, the whole body will be edified, or built up. The goal is to attain maturity in Christ. Beginning with “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3), we are to pursue “the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). We are to “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Here we see that the church is like a body, a living organism. Each member has a vital role to play, but the roles are not the same: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:4-6). “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (I Corinthians 12:4-7).
The New Testament establishes qualifications for leadership in the church, indicating that we should not rush people into positions before they are ready spiritually. (See Acts 6:3; I Timothy 3:1-13.) Indeed, in the case of a bishop (pastor), Paul wrote that the church should not select “a novice” (I Timothy 3:6).
At the same time, Paul raised up local leaders as soon as possible. On their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas established churches in a number of cities. Then they retraced their steps, confirming the new believers and selecting ministerial leaders in each local congregation to continue the work under their supervision. “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:23). Undoubtedly, the earliest leaders already had a strong biblical and moral foundation as faithful Jews or God-fearing Gentiles before they came into the church. (See, for example, II Timothy 1:5; 3:15.) Nevertheless, the apostles were willing to entrust their converts with positions of responsibility in a relatively short time.
A key to winning and retaining people is to involve them in relationships and activities. When people get involved, they get connected. They feel that they belong, they feel important, and they feel needed and wanted. The church becomes “our church” instead of “your church” or “this church.”
Not only is personal involvement beneficial for everyone, it fulfills the biblical pattern of the members of the body ministering to one another. The pastor should not try to meet every need himself, but he should lead, train, and inspire the members so that the church is able to function effectively and meet the needs of everyone.
Because of these scriptural and practical considerations, at New Life Church we seek to integrate new people as soon as possible by connecting them to our church in three ways: (1) Age groups—Sunday school classes, preteens, youth, singles, young families, “progressives” (age 40 and over), seniors. (2) Geographical groups—care groups, as described in chapter 6, that contact people regularly and minister to individual needs. (3) Interest groups—men’s fellowship, ladies’ fellowship, departments, ministries, special activities.
Even though newcomers are typically not qualified for some ministries, we try to find areas in which they can be involved, such as helping with socials, dinners, maintenance, paperwork, and so on. Our goal is for everyone who regularly attends our church to be involved in some activity or ministry.
If converts, or even visitors who attend regularly, become connected in these three ways, they will quickly make three sets of friends in the church. They will have to alter their lifestyle to accommodate their new activities, and they will lessen their ties with worldly friends. At this point, it becomes difficult for them to drop out of church.
In order to incorporate new people, we create jobs and subdivide existing jobs. As the church grows, we continue to revise and upgrade our structure in order to minister more effectively and to involve more people.
This process of change and involving new people entails some risk, but it is a calculated risk. Through prayer, planning, and leadership, we can ensure that the rewards far outweigh the risks. Let us briefly discuss some guidelines for involving people effectively and beneficially.
If a church is to grow beyond the size that one person can personally manage—about 100 to 150 in weekly attendance—then the pastor will need to delegate authority and responsibility. Exodus 18:13-26 provides a good example. Moses exhausted himself by personally trying to make every decision and meet every person’s need. His father-in-law counselee him to appoint leaders under him to handle the majority of situations and reserve only the most important matters for his personal consideration and intervention. God honors delegated authority as long as the delegate operates under the umbrella of his or her leader.
God even promises to let the delegate share in the anointing of the leader so that he or she can assist in carrying out the leader’s work. The Lord instructed Moses, “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone” (Numbers 11:16-17).
When we introduce key leaders at New Life Church—such as ministerial assistants, care group leaders, departmental directors, and church board members—we present them to the congregation as servants of the people under the direction of the pastor. We pray for God to anoint them to serve in their position, and we ask for God to give them a portion of the pastor’s vision, burden, and anointing in their designated role so that they can fulfill it effectively.
In order for delegation to be successful, leaders must do three things:
1. Delegate authority. Delegates must have real authority for their assigned tasks, and others need to know it. The leader must let delegates take initiative, give them the chance to implement their ideas, provide assistance for their plans, and support their decisions. When their decisions seem erroneous, the leader should avoid interfering as much as possible and let them learn from their mistakes, perhaps offering gentle guidance and advice. In the case of a major error that the leader must correct, he or she should first approach the delegate privately and involve the delegate in the rectifying process.
2. Delegate responsibility. Authority without responsibility soon becomes meaningless. When people are willing to work, we must find useful tasks for them to perform. Merely giving people a title does not truly involve them but will eventually frustrate them if no real responsibility comes with it. And when responsibility is given, the leader should not step in to reassume it at the first sign of problems but should train and guide delegates in the fulfillment of that responsibility.
3. Establish lines of accountability. There must be regular communication through reports and meetings; delegates must know that the leader will evaluate their work on a timely basis. We all work better when someone in authority regularly checks to see if we have accomplished our assigned tasks and how well we have done them. Moreover, the leader must have the power to make adjustments when necessary.
In the process of delegation, authority must equal responsibility (A = R). That is, if a leader gives someone a job to do, then the leader needs to give that person the means to accomplish it. Likewise, if someone has received authority, then she needs a corresponding responsibility, or else she will try to exert her authority in areas that are not her responsibility, thereby causing confusion. In short, if authority does not equal responsibility, the end result will be frustration, conflict, and failure.
There are two reasons why some leaders are reluctant to delegate. First, some are afraid that no one else can do a job as well as they can. Initially, that is probably true. But the task of a leader is to train and equip others. If the leader does everything himself, or allows only a few experienced, fully qualified people to have an active role, then he is not doing his job properly. He must be a good steward of everyone whom God has placed in his care. Thus, he should help everyone find a productive place in the kingdom of God. He should identify people who have potential in various fields and then help them become qualified to work in those areas.
It is tempting to use just a few reliable people in certain roles such as musician, song leader, teacher, usher, and so on—and in a small church it may be necessary. If the leader is not careful, however, he will rely exclusively on family members or other confidants and not give others the opportunity to learn and grow. Instead, he needs to look at people with God’s eyes, identifying their potential, offering opportunities, investing time in training, and avoiding nepotism or favoritism. The outcome will be many qualified, dedicated workers in each area of need.
For instance, when our church was small we had to rely upon a limited number of musicians and praise singers, primarily my wife. But whenever people come into the church with musical ability, or even potential musical ability, we try to develop them. Initially, they may help in children’s church, youth ministry, nursing home service, or during prayer after service. When they reach a sufficient level of proficiency, we add them to our rotation. Even my wife, who is our main keyboard player, alternates between organ and keyboard and sometimes plays neither. Others routinely share the load of playing during prayer time, during midweek service, and for special songs and choir numbers. Thus, everyone with musical aspirations can look forward to a future role, and everyone with present musical ability has an opportunity for significant involvement now.
Even when no one can do a job as well as the leader, if the leader refuses to delegate, then the job may not be done at all. A delegate who has only seventy-five percent of the desired ability may do more for the kingdom than a highly qualified leader who is too busy to give personal attention to the task. Moreover, when someone is given an assigned task, he or she will typically develop a burden and a focus for that particular task that the leader does not have. The result is that each area of the work receives greater personal attention and care. Ten partially trained leaders working at fifty percent efficiency will accomplish far more than one superb leader. Proper delegation will always generate more ideas, attention to detail, outreach, soul winning, and discipleship than one leader working alone.
For instance, if the pastor is also the youth leader, then the youth program will simply be one of many tasks on his agenda, and sometimes it will not be his priority. If the church has a dedicated youth leader, however, then the youth program will always be his or her priority, receiving careful consideration in prayer, planning, and investment of time. The pastor will still provide direction and oversight, but instead of the youth program depending on his personal initiative, it will have its own momentum, which he can encourage and direct as needed.
My goal is to start using people in responsible positions as soon as they have basic spiritual and practical qualifications. I do not wait for them to attain perfection, for several reasons: (1) They need on-the-job training to become fully effective. (2) They need involvement for their own spiritual strength and growth. Especially when people have burden and enthusiasm, we must use them or lose them. Even if we do not lose them from the church, they will likely lose their desire to serve, turning from cooperation to criticism or apathy. (3) When we put people to work, we often uncover hidden talents and stimulate new commitments that otherwise never would have surfaced. (4) I always have more jobs than people, and even if every job is filled, I always have more initiatives in mind. Thus, the choice is not between a partially qualified person and a highly qualified person, but between getting a job done at least in part or not getting the job done at all.
As a founding pastor, my method of operation has been to start initiatives and turn them over to others as soon as they have been trained. I have tried to work myself out of as many jobs as possible so that I can move on to other areas. For example, my wife and I originated almost all the departments of the church. Initially, I was in charge of all outreach, I began our men’s ministry, and I even began a Spanish ministry by teaching a Bible study through an interpreter.
My wife was our first Sunday school director, music director, and ladies director. All these positions are now filled by others, giving us more time for pastoral ministry and new endeavors.
The second reason why some leaders are reluctant to delegate is that they are afraid someone else can do a job as well as they can, or even better. But leaders need to be secure in their calling and position in the kingdom of God. The mark of a successful leader is to surround himself with qualified people, and the job of a leader is to develop qualified people. The best leaders are not necessarily those who can do every job to perfection, for this type of person often tries to micromanage everything and ends up retarding progress. Rather, the best leaders are those who recognize their limitations and consciously choose assistants who can compensate for their weaknesses and magnify their strengths.
When Moses delegated authority and God anointed those leaders, some of them began to prophesy. Out of concern that they might undermine Moses’ position, Joshua, his young assistant, suggested that he stop them. Moses responded, ‘Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29). He was secure in his position and wished that God could greatly use everyone under his leadership.
When a leader is confident in his role, he gives permission for followers to excel in their roles without anyone thinking that such excellence is a threat to the leader. But when a leader suppresses the ability and activity of others, often he causes his worst fears to come true—some people withdraw emotional or financial support, others leave, and yet others rebel. People fail to realize their potential, and the church runs in circles or stagnates.
If someone compliments my wife, I take the compliment personally, for we are partners, and I am the one who chose her for my bride. I refuse to be jealous of her achievements, for the better she does, the more I benefit. I feel the same about our assistant pastor and the other leaders in our church, for I chose them also and helped mentor and train them, I sometimes tell our congregation, “You won’t upset, me by saying how much you appreciate our assistant, pastor, for we are a team. If you have confidence in him, then I have greater assurance when I give him jobs to do or when I have to be out of town.”
Of course, I expect everyone to acknowledge the unique role of the pastor, but I also want people to have confidence in and respect for other leaders. If I as pastor exhibit such confidence and respect, then the church will also. If I do not, then the church will not, and those leaders will not be effective.
As we have discussed, in order to involve everyone personally, we must use new people—those who are relatively new to the church and those who are new to an assigned task or function. Everyone needs to feel that he or she will not be held back by prejudice, favoritism, or cliques but can easily be accepted and can easily attain a position of involvement and influence. (See chapter 6.)
While there is some risk in using relatively untried people, it is amazing how often they will rise to the occasion. Often, it is a position of responsibility, even a small one, that motivates someone to step up to the next level of commitment. By placing confidence in people, we give them powerful encouragement to achieve things they have never done before. Let us discuss some ways in which we can take advantage of this principle and yet minimize the risk of failure.
Establish a minimum list of qualifications. For leadership and representative roles, I have adopted guidelines for our church. (See appendix B.) For most defined positions, we have job descriptions that identify additional qualifications and skills. For people who do not yet meet the qualifications, we find or create places for them to work. Periodically, I explain to our church that we use people in various volunteer roles that do not involve leadership or representation of the church. Thus, some of them may not fully adhere to our standards; nevertheless, we want them to have a feeling of belonging and ownership. When church members clearly understand this concept, they are able to differentiate between roles and do not become con-fused about the standards of the church. Instead, they will adopt the same openness towards new people, remaining secure in their own convictions while avoiding judgmentalism and a “holier than thou” attitude.
Start with small responsibilities. We first give new people a small task, and if they do well, we give them a larger task. Jesus Himself enunciated this principle, and it works at every level. (See Matthew 25:21; Luke 16:10-12.) If someone feels a call to preach, I urge him to teach home Bible studies, involve himself in an outreach endeavor, and start winning souls if he has not already done so. After he has worked diligently in outreach, then we will consider him for speaking roles. As he begins to preach, we will use him in outreach services, youth services, daughter works, and other small meetings. From there, we may schedule him to speak for ten minutes on a Wednesday night before I teach the main lesson or to emcee part of the Wednesday service.
Use spiritual discernment. We should make personnel decisions with prayer, as Jesus did (Luke 6:12-13). More than looking for abilities, I look for people who have enthusiasm for the Lord and His work; who have a cooperative, teachable spirit; and who have been faithful in small things.
Look for people who have initiative and burden. Before appointing someone to a position, I see if the person has already expressed a burden for a certain work and is actively involved in it. For a new position, I typically do not give someone a job title until he or she has already been working successfully in that role without a lot of public explanation or recognition. In other words, the person has been instrumental in developing that role. In general, a person’s burden and involvement should already be evident, not only to the pastor but to other committed people, so that his or her appointment comes as no surprise.
For instance, I tell aspiring ministers that I can give them training and opportunity but I cannot give them a ministry. They must pray for God to direct their steps and open doors. Then they must take the initiative. If they will approach me with a burden and a plan of action, I will support, train, and assist them in their endeavor, but they must take responsibility for their own ministry. Thus, I encourage them to explore the possibility of teaching home Bible studies or starting an outreach at a jail, nursing home, juvenile detention center, retirement home, or college campus. If they conduct a Bible study that grows, we will consider a daughter work. In every case, however, I want to see them step out by faith, follow the leading of the Lord, and develop their own opportunities for ministry. I also like for them to serve as care group leaders or assistants, because learning to work with and care for people is at least as important as learning to speak publicly.
Rely on department heads and activity coordinators to identify potential workers. I have trained our lay leaders in the foregoing principles and instructed them to look for people who can work in their area of responsibility, either officially or unofficially. When new people become faithful to church, our leaders soon begin considering them for some type of responsibility. When a leader thinks someone is suitable for a certain role, he or she comes to me with the suggestion. If I approve, then the leader approaches the person. Sometimes I want to talk to the person first to ensure that he or she meets the necessary qualifications. Other times, I am immediately confident of the suggestion and simply ask the leader to review the qualifications with the person.
If someone does not work well in a position, find a creative way to move him or her into (mother area of responsibility. This situation requires tact, but frequently the person himself senses the need for change and is quite willing to take a suggestion. Often the solution is to make the change as a natural part of involving yet another new person and to swap, subdivide, or modify job responsibilities.
USING PEOPLE WHO HAVE FAILED
The church is a place of grace, mercy, and second chances. It should specialize in delivering those who have sinned, healing those who are wounded, and restoring those who have fallen. An important step in the healing and restoration process is to place confidence and trust in people.
For those who have failed in leadership positions in the past, we usually do not give them direct responsibility in an area associated with their past failure or possible present weakness. If they have regained spiritual qualifications, however, we try to find a place where they can be successful.
When people in the church sin, they need to repent, but when they truly repent they need to experience forgiveness not only from God but from God’s people. If someone in a leadership role violates the church’s teachings, he or she will probably need to be removed from that role, at least for a time, but the pastor can usually arrange this quietly and tactfully. And the pastor can give the person hope that he or she can again find a place of service in time. If the sin has been private, then the matter can be handled privately. In some cases, the transgressor can simply tell his departmental director or activity coordinator that he needs to take a break for a while, and the pastor can determine when he should be reinstated to a position. Only the pastor needs to know if the break is simply for rest or for spiritual discipline and renewal. If the sin is public, then the repentance needs to be as public as the sin. Sufficient time needs to pass to ensure that the person has indeed made changes in his life to safeguard against the recurrence of the sin and to ensure that the congregation can place confidence in him again. In rare cases, a public sin against the church will necessitate a public confession, but such a case should be handled with dignity, tact, and pastoral guidance.
It is not fair to appoint people to a position without giving them direction and training so that they can fulfill their job successfully. The church should provide training for ministerial and lay leaders, and each department should consider ways to train its volunteers. Here are examples of the training that our church provides:
• Ministers class: twice a month on Sunday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM for those involved in or aspiring to the preaching ministry. Usually, I teach on a designated subject, such as homiletics, or from a textbook that I give to them, such as The Pentecostal Minister. We also use this time for discussion, planning, brainstorming, and sharing of opportunities in their respective fields of labor. Occasionally, we will have a guest speaker.
• Ministry preparation class: once a month on Sunday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. This class is for young people who are exploring the possibility of a call to preach. I tell them not to claim to be preachers but to learn to be servants and soulwinners. We discuss spiritual disciplines, educational preparation, foundational doc-trines, and leadership principles—all of which will benefit them whether or not they become preachers. I also give them books, such as A Handbook of Basic Doctrines and So You May Feel a Call to Preach.
• Leadership development class: once a month on Sunday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. This class is open to everyone, but the goal is to develop leaders. We announce and discuss topics such as time management, leadership principles, praying with seekers, teaching home Bible studies, mentoring others, and so on.
• Leadership team meetings, seminars, and annual retreat: for department heads, as discussed in chapter 2.
• Departmental seminars, conferences, and retreats, sponsored by the local church, section, district, or national organization. Usually, the participants are expected to pay their own way, but the church often subsidizes the costs. For national meetings, the church or department will often pay travel costs for key leaders. Most of our departments—care groups, children, discipleship, music, outreach, Spanish-language, singles, Sunday school, young families, and youth—have benefited from this type of instruction.
• Quarterly or monthly departmental meetings: Some departments, such as care groups, children, outreach, Sunday school, and youth, have periodic meetings for training, planning, and motivation. Usually these meetings feature a speaker from our church.
• Self-study or outside training programs, such as certification for Sunday school, jail ministry, and alcohol recovery ministry.
• Evening Bible school courses: on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 in the spring and fall. Open to everyone, they focus on biblical and doctrinal subjects.
• Mentoring. Leaders are encouraged to use assistants and develop them through one-on-one interaction and on-the-job training.
Training is an important means by which leaders can invest quality time in people with the greatest desire and potential. Too often, leaders, especially pastors, spend most of their time managing crises and dealing with the most urgent and desperate needs. If they are not careful, they will invest primarily in situations and people with the least potential for success. While the church must be compassionate and reach out to all people, leaders must reserve most of their time for the most productive endeavors. By training and mentoring people who have already demonstrated ability and commitment, they maximize their own effectiveness and efficiency. And by training others, they provide more resources for helping those who are in great need.
DEPARTMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Here is a list of the departments at New Life Church along with brief descriptions:
1. Care Groups: provides personal care and coordination of activities based on geo-graphical proximity. (See chapter 6.)
2. Children: operates children’s church (see chapter 4), vacation Bible school, preteen ministry (Crusaders), scouting (currently inactive), junior Bible quizzing (currently inactive), an annual children’s revival, and other programs for children.
3. Discipleship: orients and trains new people and offers specialized instruction for every interested person. (See chapter 6.)
4. Ladies (Temple Keepers): provides spiritual and social events for women, coordinates work projects, raises funds for Mother’s Memorial, conducts a ladies’ Bible study and prayer meeting, takes an annual trip to the district ladies’ conference, and organizes our annual Harvest Fest.
5. Men: provides spiritual and social events for men, takes an annual trip to the district men’s conference, coordinates pastor’s prayer partners, and coordinates work projects for the church and for people in need.
6. Music: oversees and operates the adult choir, youth choir, children’s choir, ensemble, special songs, musicians, praise singers, musicals, music lessons, and orchestra (potential for future).
7. Outreach: makes calls and visits; canvasses neighborhoods; conducts a small group Bible study at church for outreach and training; and conducts street services and outreach endeavors for the main church, the daughter works, and other churches in the area who request assistance. This department also includes the following ministries, each of which has its own coordinator: college campus (currently inactive), deaf, home Bible studies, jail, juvenile detention center, Filipino, Korean, nursing home, retirement home, twelve-step recovery, van (picks up people without transportation including those in halfway houses), Vietnamese, and visitor follow-up.
8. Singles: provides spiritual and social activities approximately twice a month for single adults, conducts an annual singles’ conference at our church, and organizes various trips. Some activities are conducted separately for two subgroups: young singles to age thirty, usually never married (Singles 1), and older singles, usually divorced with children (Singles 2). Single adults in their late teens and early twenties are also urged to participate in youth activities, since they are in a time of transition and serve as leaders and role models for younger teens. A Sunday school class, called college and career, also ministers to singles.
9. Spanish Language: conducts services in Spanish on Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening, as well as a full range of church activities. This department has become a daughter work and will soon become an autonomous church. At present, it also retains departmental status because it uses the mother church’s building and thus there is a need for coordination of schedules and activities with the other departments.
10. Sunday School: offers classes on Sunday morning for all ages including several adult classes, conducts class social events, and presents occasional programs in church services. (See chapter 4.)
11. Young Families: offers a Sunday school class for young married couples and single parents up to age forty and provides spiritual and social activities for this group and their families. (Single parents can participate in this group, in the singles group, or both. Usually, those with children want at least some participation in this group.)
12. Youth: conducts a weekly service or other activity for youth on Friday nights, including spiritual, social, community, sectional, and district activities; organizes recreation on Tuesday nights during the summer; takes an annual trip to the district youth conference; organizes an annual youth retreat or youth trip; and raises funds for Sheaves for Christ. The program is geared for teenagers and young adults approximately through age twenty-five. Some activities are conducted separately for junior high and senior high students.
In addition, the following functions have their own coordinators, who report directly to the pastor or assistant pastor. Some of them could be placed under certain departments, especially if the departmental directors were full time. Here is a brief description of each function or group:
• Activities: coordinates special functions not sponsored by a department, such as weddings and all-church socials.
• Bible quizzing: conducts Bible memorization and trips for quizzing competition. This group works closely with the youth department but has its own coordinator and fund.
• Drama: presents Easter dramas, Christmas dramas, and skits for social events and church services.
• Hosts and hostesses: greets people before and at the beginning of every service, passes out Sunday bulletins, and obtains contact information from visitors.
• Kitchen: supervises the use, restocking, and cleanup of the kitchen according to the church’s kitchen policy.
• Library and bookstore: maintains records, restocks the library and bookstore, and operates them before and after services.
• Maintenance (building and grounds): supervises cleaning of the building, setup for services, repairs, and yard work. Individual departments are responsible for setting up and cleaning up after their own activities.
• Nursery: supervises the room, supplies, volunteer workers, and paid workers according to the church’s nursery policy.
• Prayer: promotes the various prayer endeavors of the church. (See chapter 1.)
• PALS (Praying and Loving Sisters): provides social, educational, and spiritual activities for senior ladies.
• Progressives: provides spiritual and social activities for ages forty and above.
• Publicity: prepares fliers, mail-outs, newspaper ads, radio spots; maintains and updates website.
• Sound and video systems: operates and maintains these systems; assists with music, dramas, and special events; and displays announcements, song lyrics, sermon and les-son notes, Bible readings, and special presentations.
• Tapes: conducts the recording, duplication, packaging, and sale of audio cassettes and videotapes.
• Tracts: orders tracts and restocks the tract racks.
• Ushers: helps with parking, seating, crowd control, and heating and air control; receives, counts, and safeguards the offering; and communicates with the pastoral staff during services.
• Vehicles: maintains, operates, and schedules the church’s bus and vans according to its vehicle policy.
As pastor I encourage the ministers of our church to consider starting daughter works. Usually, a daughter work begins with a Bible study in an outlying community or area of town that is not being served effectively by our church. If there is sufficient interest and participation, the next step is to have a weekly service. The daughter work leader continues to participate in most activities of the mother church and often brings people to some of the main services. As the daughter congregation grows, other services and activities are added. The ultimate goal is for the daughter work to become a self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating church while still maintaining close fellowship with the mother church. To facilitate this process, we have a written daughter work policy that clearly spells out the commitments of the mother church pastor, the responsibilities of the daughter work pastor, and the arrangements by which they agree to work together until the new church is established.
Currently, New Life Church has four active daughter works: two in towns about thirty miles away, one in a predominantly black neighborhood in east Austin about twelve miles from our main location, and one that operates in Spanish in the mother church’s building. We have recently obtained approval for another daughter work in a suburb, to be conducted by our Spanish daughter work pastor.
We also have two home Bible studies in nearby towns—one in English and one in Spanish. They have attracted a number of participants and have the potential to become daughter works.
Finally, as pastor I emphasize that evangelism and discipleship should be the priorities for every department and every activity. These two objectives form the core of our church’s vision statement, which in turn is based on the great commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20). Everything we do must be related to our vision statement, for it expresses the reason why we exist as a church.
Usually, it is easy to relate every function in some way to discipleship, because every activity promotes fellowship and development of believers. However, I teach that we should also consider evangelism to be part of every endeavor. Even when events have the primary purpose of discipleship, fellowship, or fundraising, we should keep evangelism in mind. For instance, a social event is a great opportunity to invite visitors, because it is easy for them to develop connections with the church in a relaxed setting. Thus, every social event must be planned and conducted with a diverse audience, including visitors, in mind. Even a fundraiser, such as a garage sale or harvest festival, is a great time to witness. A prayer meeting is a good time not only for saints to be strengthened but for a new person to receive the Holy Ghost.
Because of this emphasis on outreach, we have people in church today whose first contact with us was at a fundraiser or a social event. Some have received the Holy Ghost in prayer meetings or at the close of small group events. The heartbeat of a revival church must always be souls, and this emphasis must be part of every activity and every event.
The above article, “Personal Involvement” is written by David K. Bernard. This article was excerpted from the seventh chapter of Bernard’s book Growing A Church.
This material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.