Cutting Edge Ministry: Do you Have the Jitters?
The only thing constant is change. Times change, people change, and ministry must change, as well. That doesn’t mean that the message changes, merely the approach. Your ministry must remain relevant to your community before you can reach them with the Gospel.
In 1909 a cutting-edge ministry was one woman, Lou Brisco, starting a church in Park Ridge, IL, and appointing herself president of the women’s auxiliary. Mrs. Brisco brought together people of like minds to start the small Methodist church. She sought out people who would embrace the idea of ecumenism. These are ideals that the Park Ridge Methodist church values to this day. Today, the idea of a woman starting a church is not exactly common place, but it’s hardly noteworthy. One hundred years ago, however, it was unheard of. Nonetheless, Mrs. Brisco recognized a need and catered her ministry to meet the needs of her community.
Hear it – See it – Catch it – Own it
Every visionary leader wants to engage members of his or her community and invite them to participate in fulfilling the ministry vision God has given.
When a leader is intentional about inviting people to participate in the ministry, there are four levels at which an individual may engage with that vision.
The “hear it” level
When you first invite people into your vision, they’re hearing about your vision for the very first time. Don’t ask them for money. Just realize that they’ve only just been introduced to the vision. And maybe 10% of them really understood it that first time.
The “see it” level
Once someone has heard what you’re doing, you want to bring them to another level of understanding the vision by inviting them to see it. This is where they get to witness and experience what your ministry is trying to accomplish. When a camp director invites someone who’s “heard it” to visit the camp and see it camp in operation, that’s inviting them to the next level of engagement.
Four Dangers That Strong Ministry Leaders Face
The Scriptures say that temptation is common to mankind, so naturally they’re something ministry leaders will face. But there are some pitfalls that strong and gifted leaders should be especially alert to.
Why are gifted, skillful leaders especially at risk for these temptations? Because they are especially likely to fall back on their gifts and skills and experience rather than rely daily on their fellowship with the Father.
In a recent conversation about what it takes for leaders to finish well, Dr. Ken Boa said to me, “I think that there’s a danger to rely on ourselves rather than prayer or intimacy with God. The excitement of activity and effectiveness in ministry—we can rely on the outward things rather than the inward reality. So, what happens is, we may have hardly much of a prayer life, but we suppose that, because people are being affected or touched, that things are all well. I think that’s a danger.”
Four Dynamics of Encountering Scripture
As ministry leaders, we’re meant to live out of the Scriptures. Or perhaps it’s better to say that we’re to live in the Scriptures, then live them out.
I appreciate how Dr. Ken Boa defines encounters with Scripture. He says, “When I think of ‘encounter with Scripture,’ I’m thinking about showing up before God with an open heart and with an open Bible and expecting that He is going to really open something to you. You may not feel anything; it may not be something palpable, but my view about the matter is that you’re putting yourself in a greenhouse, as it were, for growth.”
The Church is Losing 7 Out of 10 Youth and Young Adults
Take a good look at the children in your church. By the time they’re in their 20s, seven out of ten will have left the church behind.
Not just moved away from their childhood church, but left church entirely. Staggering, isn’t it? We are retaining only 30% of the young people who come through our churches.
I believe God wants us to take this seriously. So does David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and author of You Lost Me—Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith.
Does Your Ministry Need a Leadership Board?
An effective leadership board can help take your ministry to new heights. But not all boards function well, and an ineffective board can be like a ball and chain around a ministry leader’s neck.
Can’t your nonprofit or ministry just dispense with having a board altogether?No, and here’s why.
Leadership Board Development and the Law
What Does It Take to Finish Well?
The question is not will you finish; the question is will you finish well?
The New Testament writers usually wrote about who believers are in Christ before they told them how to live. Ephesians, Romans, and Colossians all begin with the focus on who we are in Christ—our being—before moving on to telling us what to do.