Wednesday, May 01, 2013
...far too many churches are still mostly audiences for professional “ministers” rather than well-trained teams of ministering laity. Pastors can be threatened by the idea of an empowered laity, while busy lay people are happy to let the “pros” handle their job. As a result, churches are dysfunctional bodies that limp along rather than sprinting forward with divine power.
I know it can be challenging for lay people to find their place in the body of Christ. I’ve faced this very challenge recently as I’ve sought my role in my local church, one where I am not a member of the staff. It took about a year of praying and waiting on God before I discovered how he wanted to use me in my church. Now I’m doing my part to help St. Mark Presbyterian Church be a fully-functional body, just as God intends it to be.Mission and resource, how many times have I heard the refrain - we must tailor the mission to the available resources. And yet, with God at our back we have infinite resources which means there is no end to the mission. But how do we break the cycle that Mark Roberts so adequately describes? How do we build a congregation of people that aid the function of the church?
Two brief thoughts. Firstly we need to work on building people, not programs. Secondly we need to set those people free, not try to shove them into slots.
We are not on a hunt for volunteers, we are in the business of making disciples. It is less about forming people to the churches needs, or perceived needs, and more about more about learning who God is making them into, aiding God in that process and then helping them do what they are called to do. Of course we will have the occasional crazy "called" to stand on their head and grow a handlebar mustache for Jesus, but keeping a lid on such things is a small price to pay for the creativity, energy and effectiveness that such an approach will bring.
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