Sunday, September 09, 2012

Time-Card Christians v. Orchestrated Ministry

This post doesn't have anything to do with Christians punching their card. I'm writing about the interchangeability of members.

Most churches I know about tend to treat their people like time cards and their ministries like the slots in the rack.

It doesn't matter which card I put into which slot, just so each slot has a card and each card has a slot. We design ministries that make this interchangeability possible. When I was a children's pastor, I remember a curriculum that advertised, "So easy to use that it doesn't matter who shows up." Of course, I bought it. We were a fast growing church and part of the goal of the church was to add more ministries so nobody's need would go unmet. I was desperate.

It wasn't good ministry. I'd say that was one of my weakest seasons of ministry. Responding to the needs and the slot rather than strengthening the saints to use their gifts in ministry.

Ministry should be more artistic than that. Leaders should allow the gifts of the people to guide the form of the ministry. That doesn't mean that every member can pick their own role. It means that leaders should prayerfully sit back and notice how God is orchestrating the ministry.

In fact, we should look at our ministries as an orchestra. Not every orchestra has the same kinds musicians or the same strengths, but a good conductor chooses music that emphasizes the strengths of each musician, pushing some to improve and allowing weaker musicians to fill the background until they recognize their style and strength.

Orchestras combine the gifts of many to make good music. Time cards just sit their on the wall until someone finally gets to go home.