Develop and Integrate Gift-Based Ministries
Yes, fellow elders, we are free to organize in a New Testament, synergistic way, so that every believer can serve seriously.
Yes, Lord, we’ll arrange for all believers to use the gifts You give them to serve one another and their neighbors, doing the ministries that You require.
A church is not fully planted until its members are doing the ministries that God requires of it. Godly leaders let believers serve in vital ministries; weak leaders over-control, curtail members’ participation in serious ministry, and fail to share their authority with apprentice leaders.
Know the gifts named in the NT, and arrange for believers to use their gifts. Practice in the body the interaction that 1 Corinthians 12 requires. Only agape love makes this possible (1 Corinthians. 13). Such interaction requires a group to be small enough that all can face each other, discuss freely, and edify and serve one another as needs and opportunities arise. Create many ways in which believers can serve interactively.
In brief, ministries that the New Testament requires of a body of believers include:
Resources For While You …
Initiate key church activities. Know the vital ministries with Bible references:
Dodge the devils’ darts. Resist Satan’s ploys to limit the number of leaders in a church:
Balance the Body. Maintain a proper ratio between the two ways of doing key ministries:
jit 4b 81 Balance both ways to do key ministries, 3 pages
Learn how to use gifts. Recall and illustrate gifts by association with Bible characters:
Visualize diverse forms of Kingdom growth:
jit 4b 82 Diagrams of growth by multiplication and other means (PowerPoint)
Keep volunteer workers happy. Let workers do tasks that fit their personalities:
X-ray the Body’s vital organs. Use this simple image to memorize gift-based ministries, especially if you are someone who learns more readily with visual reminders:
Name new elders. Why did God use different ways to name leaders in Antioch and Crete? Show with a brief skit who should name shepherds, and under what conditions:
Discern what to do next. Mentor new leaders as Jesus and Paul did, by responding to current needs and opportunities:
Learn what Scripture teaches about teaching. Instruct children and adults in a New Testament way. This penetrating probe may stir up a few dormant brain cells:
Distinguish spiritual unity from abusive conformity:
Practice synergistic church body life:
Common Traps To Avoid
Adhere to just one form of church rule, when circumstances require flexibility.
Workers in pioneer fields often find they need a someone to do what Titus did in Crete, when several churches come into being. Titus, an outsider, prepared and installed shepherding elders in “baby” churches, exercising overseer authority. The mature Antioch church, on the other hand, could commission workers itself, because it had mature leaders (Acts 13).
Feel frustrated when new churches fail to do everything right.
New Testament churches had failures; no church is without failure. You will serve with folk who are growing in Christ, babes who will make many mistakes on the way, just as you have made.
Compartmentalize church organization. Let those with different gifts work together in loving harmony. Avoid isolating programs. Christ’s body is to function in an interactive way similar to organs working together in a human body (1 Cor. chapters 12 & 13; Eph. 4:11-16).