“Do you love people enough to challenge them to move beyond consuming ministry to being the ministry?”
This question jumped off the page when I read it in Tony Morgan’s recent blog post highlighting the 12 reasons your church doesn’t produce spiritual growth. Almost every church would respond to the question with a hearty, “Absolutely!” However, the truth is very few invest the necessary work required to make 'being the ministry' a reality.
Moving people beyond consuming and into 'being the ministry of your church' requires more than encouragement to get involved (tweet this). Joining a small group doesn’t qualify. Neither does serving as a volunteer. It’s entirely possible for your church members to be actively involved — in a weekly small group ministry and even volunteering every Sunday — and primarily be a consumer rather than an extension of your church’s ministry.
How do we help people find their groove and 'be the ministry' of our church?
Churches that successfully move people beyond consuming into being the church do two things well:
- They equip them to do ministry in the areas of life where they already have influence.
- They regularly challenge them to activate their faith and get in the game.
A church that is helping me 'be the ministry' would equip me to live out my faith as I coach youth football, mentor young professionals, or lead a group of neighborhood couples through a monthly discussion centered on Scripture. If I wasn’t already doing those things, this church would challenge me to get to the point where I was actively ministering to those around me through teaching and small group meetings. Finally, it would provide me with clear on-ramps for living out my faith when the Holy Spirit challenges me to do something.
More than likely, your church doesn’t need more consumers. You need more do-ers. The best way to help people activate their faith and find their groove in ministry isn’t simply to encourage them to get involved. It’s to challenge them, equip them, and make it easy for them to know where and how they can serve when convicted.
We should embrace the calling we have in Ephesians 4 to 'equip the saints for ministry' and consistently challenge people to move beyond their comfort zone and into life-changing involvement.
Want a resource to help your church and its members find a groove? Church Community Builder partnered with Tony to produce the Leisure Suit Series, which eventually evolved into his eBook "Stuck in a Funk?" The book does a great job addressing the idea that there are many churches simply existing, but not relevant to their members. How do you know if you’re relevant? If you’re engaging and equipping people in ministry, you’re relevant.
I encourage you to check it out if your church seems stuck or you can’t figure out how to move people toward being the ministry within your community.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your church doing in helping people 'be the ministry' of your church? What do you do well? What needs improvement?