Everyone in Ministry
Dave Black has some suggetions, first:
How can we provoke one another to love and good deeds in the service of others (Heb. 10:24)? One approach would be to become more proactive in the way we recognize those who are exercising their gifts in the Body. This is something Becky is doing at our church website, especially in the blog (check it out!).
Here’s another suggestion. During the Sunday meeting, why not pause and have everyone greet one another, this time not simply saying “hello,” however. Have them introduce themselves, give a warm handshake, and then tell the ministry in which they are involved. You say, “That would really put people on the spot! What if they don’t have a ministry?” That’s the point. As people who are not yet involved in ministry hear from others who are, this will communicate that Bethel Hill Baptist Church is as committed to lay ministry as it is to pastoral ministry. The next step might be to have lay people (instead of the deacons) serve the elements during the communion service or have the youth take up the offerings, on a regular basis.
This reminds me of things I have said in using my own Identifying Your Gifts and Service books (hand-out for teacher-led groups, small group edition), telling pastors and church leaders that if they do not get everyone involved in spotting gifts and engaging others in ministry using those gifts, no program will work. The equipper – pastor, teacher, whoever, must be bringing everyone into the activity of ministry, and ministry includes involving others in ministry. Can I say that enough times?
This is another reason I am so delighted to be publishing Dave Black’s new book The Jesus Paradigm, because he develops the basis and the structure (or removal of structure) required to actually accomplish this mission. He comes from a Southern Baptist background, and I’m from a charismatic/Wesleyan perspective, but there is not only unity at the foot of the cross, there’s unity in how the entire body must become part of ministry if we are to accomplish the gospel commission.