The local congregation develops ministry efforts to accomplish God’s mandate. These initiatives intend to bring God’s gracious presence to people through His Word of the Gospel (Ephesians 1:3–14). They aim to deliver God’s power to release people from the bondage of sin and to enable sanctified living (Ephesians 1:15–2:10). They undertake to execute God’s plan of reconciliation (Ephesians 2:11–22). They seek to promote maturation of the saints (Ephesians 4:1–16). Such efforts, when aligned with these priorities, accomplish great and marvelous things in this world and for the world to come!
But the development and implementation of these ministry activities do not occur automatically and without effort. They require very intentional thinking and acting. Since they are done collaboratively, they require organization. Participation by multiple people in a shared effort will require some degree of organization. This is done so that the work of the Church is conducted effectively.
Read on to learn about three different organization models that may help your church accomplish God’s mandate.
There’s a joke in my family that my older sister was baptized in the kitchen sink by my maternal grandmother. I have no idea whether the tale is tall or true, but I can imagine it might have a speck of honesty in it.
A few months back, I wrote a post about how you can support your pastor’s wife. In it, I mentioned that because the role of the pastor’s wife comes with so many challenging aspects, there could be a field manual for women about to square up with the task. In place of a field manual, though, I thought I’d offer more insight via a few dedicated blog posts. Here’s the first of three.
I’m gonna let you in on a not-so-secret secret.
Five, actually: five things missionaries wish you knew.
I walk into the sanctuary with my newborn daughter strapped into a baby carrier and a diaper bag on my back. I’m only a few minutes early to service, but it’s a relatively empty space. It’s my first Sunday alone with my daughter. My husband, who is the vicar (a yearlong pastoral intern) at the church, cannot help me with her cries. I want to find a place to sit and just blend in. I want to disappear into the crowd of worshipers. I find my seat and send a little prayer up that she stays asleep or remains quiet. The opening song starts, and I realize I have no idea where to go if she starts to get loud.
There has been a lot of buzz recently about what it means to be an authentic servant leader.
The phrase “servant leadership” was originally coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his 1970 The Servant as Leader essay. Greenleaf writes that a servant-leader starts with being a servant. It is his or her desire to serve that leads one to aspire to want to lead others. This is in sharp contrast to those whose primary goal is to become a “leader first.”
Having my daughter last spring has definitely changed my walk with Christ. Busy days come with sleepless nights and quiet moments are often broken with cute coos and not-as-cute cries (though I do think her cries can be cute). It extends to my experiences at church. No longer is the Sunday sermon a time where I get to sit and soak up the nuances and meanings in God’s Word. Now it’s a time of wrangling, toy-picking-up, and diaper changes. I expected and longed for these days.
Do you ever pause and consider how vast God’s love is for us? How absolutely outrageous and wonderful and impossible it is in its scope?
I venture it’s not always often that you do if you’re anything like me.
Sally felt like she was drowning. She was in her tenth month of service as the chairperson of the Board for Congregational Service at St. James Church. It seemed that the responsibilities of her position were overwhelming her. She was asked to assume this leadership role because she had been an active volunteer at the church. The nominating board recognized her to be a true servant, so they assumed she’d do a fine job leading the Board for Congregational Service.
Sally had agreed to the nomination with some trepidation and was elected to the position. But she had no leadership experience before this election. And her gifts and skills were not oriented toward leadership. She thrived in doing hands-on service but floundered at the task of leading and managing other members of the board. Moreover, she was dropped into the chairperson position without any training. As a result, the six members of the Board for Congregational Service were frustrated, and Sally was flustered.
“I’d be LIVID if someone prayed with/to/at my kids.” My heart leapt into my throat and then sank as I read these words from a Facebook group on parenting. The original post had asked for advice on what to do as a parent if you found out your mother had prayed with your children when they couldn’t sleep, even though you are agnostic/atheist and raising your children the same way. This was just one of the many comments expressing this sentiment that flooded the post.