Building Strong Ministry
Making disciples and equipping them for ministry should be central to any local church's mission. This starts with evangelism then pursues growth and maturity in every saint. Our goal is to grow more and more like
Jesus together. Christ gave direction for this process:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:11-13).
The LHF elders, as your shepherds and teachers, are charged with this work. But discipleship and equipping is a two way street. It requires faithfulness from teacher and student alike. Each of us has a role to play which requires us to get outfitted for our particular areas of service. The elders aren't charged with doing the work of ministry as if it were their job alone. They equip the church so that everyone does the work of ministry together.
In the coming months at LHF, we're fine-tuning our strategy for disciple-making and equipping so that each of us can be more confident and able to serve the body. Every ministry must advance these goals. With this in mind, ministries must be built around ministers. If we don't have the minister(s) to do the work, the particular ministry will flounder or fail. However, I'm confident that Christ outfits every local church for ministry essentials.
Ministries like teaching and music are mandated in scripture and essential to the church. What I don’t want is to come up with a list of non-essential ministries that we think we should do and seek to fill those roles. Placing square ministers in round holes of ministry works to a degree, when the minister is eager and faithful to serve, but the ministry doesn't flourish because the minister is serving in the wrong place.
We need to reverse-engineer the process so that the ministers we already have inform what ministries we do. Part of equipping the saints is finding out how Christ has hardwired each of them for service. If the shepherds can facilitate ministries around a saint's God-given gifts and inclinations, the ministry will fire on all cylinders and will be more effective.
May Christ keep shaping us all for ministry as he shapes us to be like himself.