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Posts Tagged ‘church ministry’

Fifth Sunday of Pentecost-B

29 Jun

Para-church organizationsMinistry beyond the church In the beginning, para-church organizations to minister to the community were supported by the churches which provided oversight as well as supplying funds and volunteers. As a result, many church members were able to get training and experience through the programs. However, many churches no longer support the parachurch organizations and the organizations get very little support from individual churches, so they are often forced to draw their support from the community at large. As a result, churches often see them as competitors for money rather than as avenues for ministry and church members are finding few avenues to serve and no training in how to serve. Many para-church organizations can provide volunteer opportunities for members to serve God and often provide needed training. (see “The Important I”-LULU  Press) If you are interested in serving Christ beyond the local church check with the local Salvation Army or other church related ministries to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your area.

 

Fifth Sunday of Pentecost-A-July 3

29 Jun

Parachurch Ministries Ministry beyond the church In the past, many members learned to minister to others as they ministered to other members and to those who  came to the church for help. Today, church members are so scattered they rarely know each other well and few people come to the church seeking help anymore. As a result members get little experience in ministering to others and few church members have the experience to help. Many problems in small churches do not warrant separate programs to deal with them, however many problems formerly associated with the inner-city are moving to the suburbs as the poor move to the suburbs where rent is cheaper, housing is better, and there is less violence. Many suburban and rural areas do not know how to deal with the problems and many problems are too big for individual churches to handle. As a result, many churches today have withdrawn from ministry to those around them so many community needs are not being met. Parachurch organizations have grown up to help, such as Habitat For Humanity, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, etc. to carry on ministries and to meet the unmet needs in the community.

 

Fourth Sunday of Pentecost-June 26

22 Jun

Put out into the deep. Jesus challenged Peter to put out into the deep water and cast down their nets. They had been out all night and caught nothing so why should they go out again. Peter was a career fisherman and knew how to fish. He figured that Jesus was a teacher and probably didn’t know a lot about fishing, yet he was willing to trust Jesus and do as He said. As a result, they caught so many fish they had to call for help to haul it all in. The church today feels that unbelievers don’t want to know Jesus, yet many have never heard of Him and are seeking something that doesn’t move in our unstable society. The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even satanic societies reach out to them and they join them in search of help, but none offer them what they need. Jesus asks us to put out into the deep and reach people where they live. He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel.” He knows where the people are that need Him and He wants us to go tell them about Him. If Jesus asks us to do something that doesn’t make sense, maybe He just wants to teach us to trust Him.

 

Third Sunday of Pentecost-June 19

16 Jun

Not just for Pastors-Many people think that only preachers can lead people to Christ, but Jesus said to His disciples, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. While there have been times when evangelists like George Whitefield and Billy Graham have risen to call God’s people to repentance, the main response has come mainly from within the body of believers. Few outside the church responded until revival had swept through the church and unbelievers saw the change in the life of believers and wanted that life. When the church has had a highly trained and highly paid clergy, the church has generally not been very effective in reaching the lost because members leave evangelism to the clergy. The greatest inflow of unchurched people occurred during the early church before they had paid clergy, during the Wesleyan revival when Wesley organized small groups of converts under lay pastor’s, and in the American wilderness when believers gathered to pray and study the Bible while waiting for the Lord to send them a pastor. Although John Wesley and George Whitfield preached extensively and circuit riders rode throughout the American wilderness establishing churches, members of those churches continued to reach out to those around them, inviting unbelievers to hear the traveling preachers. It has been said that church isn’t a haven for saints but one beggar telling another where to find bread.

 

videos-A Servant’s Heart-part-B-book promo

30 May

 

Eastertide-Sixth Sunday-May 22

19 May

Prepare-Too many churches simply wait until a position is open and then try to fill it. The problem with that is the same people continue to serve so there are very few in the church with experience and very few members are involved in the church’s ministry. Many people are afraid to take new positions because they have no experience and those that do accept the position don’t do well, often become frustrated, and soon quit or continue struggling along doing a poor job. It makes better sense to ask someone to train as an assistant under someone more experienced before the need arises. Someone who has never taught before will be more likely to accept an opportunity to learn then to take a class alone with no experience. When a position comes open, there will be people who have experience and can do well. They will often be more likely to take the position if they have worked in a classroom for a while under someone than if they have never helped in a classroom before. It also provides assistants to help the teacher, so they don’t have to do everything themselves.

 

Eastertide-Fifth Sunday-May 15

12 May

Involve New People-It is not enough to just have everyone take a year off. The church must actively seek to involve new people. A full-time search committee should be established that actively meet with members to talk with them about their interests and help them find areas that interest them. Too often search committees are called a couple weeks before the church’s annual conference to fill vacant elected positions and they have little time to seek qualified people. As a result, they often nominate the same people they know well, even though the people may have little interest or experience in that area. As a year-round committee, they can get to know more members and seek to help them find areas that interest them before openings occur.  When openings occur in committees during the year, the search committee can help the committee chairman find suitable replacements. The interest survey previously mentioned is a good way to help members discover where they would like to use their gifts. Before members go off their position after six years, the committee should meet with them again to help them explore other areas to see if there are other areas that interest them. The committee should be familiar with the various functions of the church and how to help members explore their interests. (I deal with it in my book for pastors and church leaders “Rebuilding The Kingdom”). As the committee locates new talents, it can help the church expand its ministry into new areas and involve more people in the church. The committee can also help each committee define its mission and draw up a mission statement to help them focus their work.

 

Video-Ministering to Seniors-promo

07 May

 

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-May 8

04 May

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-Explore- One of the most important ways to find what our gifts are is to experiment in different areas of the church to find what we enjoy doing and do well. This is one of the most neglected areas of the church today. Most churches are run by a small group of people who have always filled the same positions. While they complain that no one wants to work, they give very little opportunity for new people to become involved. The church must provide opportunities for members to become involved in various areas of the church so they can find their interests and talents. One way is through a requirement that limits everyone to two three-year terms and requires everyone to take a sabbatical every seventh year. This helps prevent workers from becoming burned out and enables new people to become involved. It also gives members on their Sabbatical time to shop around to see if there are other areas that might interest them. Some churches have a Sunday where each church work group has a booth in the fellowship hall and members can wander from booth to booth talking with people who belong to that work group. Some churches even invite Christian community service groups to have a booth for those called to serve beyond the local church. There are also interest surveys available. I have written a booklet, “The Important I” which helps with determining what would be a good career (part-A), but also outlines areas in the church and community that offer opportunities for volunteer work (part-B). It includes an interest survey and can be obtained by E-mailing me at robert.barr34@yahoo.com, requesting the booklets, “The Important I” and put “booklet” in the subject line.

 

Third Sunday of Eastertide-May 1

27 Apr

(Luke 24:49) Wait and Seek-Jesus rose from the dead and He revealed Himself to the disciples. I am sure they wanted to rush right out and tell everyone, but Jesus told them to wait until they received the power from the Holy Spirit. Just as Lent is a time where we purify ourselves to receive Christ. Eastertide is a time when we should begin to seek God’s purpose for our life and begin preparing to serve Christ. Lent involves seeking to remove anything from our life that would hinder our service and Eastertide involves finding where Christ would have us to serve. As a result, during Eastertide, the church should seek to help its members discover their gifts. As the church begins to see what gifts are available, it can begin planning how to use those gifts to further God’s kingdom.