This information was gathered directly from a packet of materials that the church gave to its interns doing something called the MP Project in 2003. We are told that not only was this information put into writing as indicated below, but it was also a foundational concept which was explicitly taught by the pastors, staff, and other leaders throughout pretty much the whole history of the church from its beginning until the present day. While some of it isn’t all that bad from a biblical standpoint, certain points, such as their emphasis and exercise of authority, are especially disturbing.
The Ministry Cycle, 2 Timothy 2:2-3
I. The “Calling” to a particular ministry in a local church happens two ways:
- “It’s a fit” – It is very clear to the person that they will function well in a ministry position that is available.
- “It’s NOT a fit” – God calls you to it because of a ministry and your need!
- It is usually a struggle for the “It’s NOT a fit” person because they:
- Feel it is not something they are gifted to do.
- Are not willing to follow leadership when asked to do it.
- Are afraid of failure – either because they don’t feel like they have the time to do it well, or from negative past experience.
- This person will usually not “feel” the call, as in the “It’s a fit” person, but it will be confirmed as they push through the feelings and see God bless.
- This is why the ministry is just as much about development of those doing the ministry as the ones being ministered to.
- It is not just what we teach, but what we are becoming in Christ.
II. Carrying out the Call (God raises up people to assist you)
- Some people come to you after you have prayed and voiced the need. (These people are the “It’s a fit” people.)
- Other people who normally would not consider assisting you in your ministry might, with prayer, consider your ministry if you ask them directly.
- When recruiting, give individuals a measurable task. While you need to be sensitive to where people are at, you should be careful not to baby them. If you do, you are setting yourself up for continued “babying” once they are on your ministry team. If they are called to serve in ministry with you, they will respond.
III. Prayerful selection of someone whom you can develop to take over your ministry role.
- This does not have to be someone you are close to.
- You will see this person enjoy doing ministry and see that they could do it better than you could.
- Once you have chosen someone to whom you can pass on your ministry, you need to be diligent in passing on all that you have learned, and are learning, in your spiritual walk.
- Learn – Begin by asking God what you are supposed to be learning.
- Apply – Make sure you are doing it yourself.
- Teach – Share what you are learning with the persons you are training in ministry.
- Guidelines for selecting and recruiting:
- If it is a new believer, make sure they are able to attend one of our weekend services and our weekly prayer meeting.
- Do it in consultation with the leader you are responsible to, recognizing their insights into potential recruits and their discernment.
- Don’t assume people who volunteer their time should do it. Always PRAY. These people may be better off in some other ministry or bringing people to the weekend services.
- Get out of the “Substitute Ministry” mindset. Our ministry is not JUST doing specific tasks, but to our volunteers as well. We need a consistent team to work and grow with spiritually.
- People ministering under your leadership need to know that you have the authority to make decisions. This means you will be backed up by those in leadership above you if there is a conflict. This DOES NOT mean that your leaders will not challenge you when you are wrong. It means that people under your leadership need to know that you have authority.
- If a person comes along but definitely shows different gifts and abilities that might be better used elsewhere – it is your responsibility to re-direct them to the ministry that is the best fit for them.
IV. Train and Disciple
- This is true discipleship because you work closely together. You see each others’ weaknesses and faults due to stress and pressure. It will bring out the best and the worst in both of you.(Simply having a Bible study will not do that!)
- Everything you learn in your role, you teach to them – from successes to failures.
V. Hand off Ministry Officially and Continue to Coach
- They are not left on their own. You are still there to give guidance and wisdom as needed.
- You need to be sure to coach them in continuing the cycle. They should already be praying and looking for someone new to hand this ministry over to in the future.
VI. Move on to a new ministry or Mentor someone else in the same ministry
- The Cycle begins again for you.
- The person you are discipling into ministry carries on the cycle. If they do not or problems begin to occur, you will need to step back in.
- Your most important job when you leave a ministry is your prayers for them.
***You may periodically have someone who must be asked to leave or desires to leave in the middle of the cycle. Before they leave, ask them:
- Do you think I am a Godly leader? What would you suggest to make me a better trainer?
- Was it difficult to follow my leadership? Why?
- If you can’t follow my leadership, why? The issue needs to be resolved before the person leaving decides to minister in another area.
- Is there anything or anyone you are angry at?