Bible study, big events, and fellowships.
Good food, big laughs, and photo ops.
Special emphases, small groups, and mission trips.
Vision casting, tearful prayers, and budget sweats.
This is the world of organizational ministry, but what’s it all for? What’s the goal?
Well, it’s not to create the most exciting atmosphere in town, although there’s much to be said for fostering an environment conducive to community and learning. It’s not to draw the largest crowds to your programs and events, although every body present represents a soul who needs Jesus. It’s not to teach the most engaging and culturally relevant lessons, although people need to know that Jesus is still the answer. It’s not even to produce people able to do what you do how you do it, although the Church desperately needs organizational leaders.
No, the ultimate goal of organizational ministry is the advancement of God’s Kingdom for His ultimate glory.
How do you reach a big goal like that? The process is much simpler than we sometimes make it.
Teach your people to SHARE the Gospel. Pick a plan, any plan—Roman Road, FAITH, One Hope (skopos.org)—and teach it to your people. Let them practice on each other regularly, and use it yourself when presenting the Gospel. Hopefully, this is happening every time you meet! If so, your people will pick up the script without even meaning to, just like they can’t help learning the latest ear worm. Then, when the opportunity to tell someone about the single greatest display of God’s grace and mercy in history presents itself, they’ll be ready.
Teach your people to PROVE the Gospel. If you didn’t grow up hearing it, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is a lot to take in. Most people need proof before they’ll believe it, much less put their faith in it. The only readily available proof we have that the Gospel is true is the presence of a supernatural Holy Spirit in our lives made possible by our faith in that very Gospel. When we ignore the Holy Spirit and live life by our own rules and/or under our own power, our Gospel message falls flat and people have reason to doubt, but when we let Him shine through us by obeying God’s Word consistently, we prove the Gospel true. Teach your people what the Bible says and urge them to obey it so the skeptics will have no excuse.
Teach your people to ILLUSTRATE the Gospel. Even those who believe the Gospel sometimes have a hard time believing God had them in mind when He sent Jesus to do what He did. When we dole out grace by treating people better than they deserve to be treated and extend mercy by showing compassion restraint in all situations, we give those people reason to believe they are part of the world God loves (John 3:16). When we forgive, believing and acting as if people don’t owe us for their mistakes, we demonstrate the nearness and accessibility of salvation. Love your people and teach them to love others completely, unconditionally, and self-sacrificially, like Jesus did. Together, become beacons that illuminate God’s path to eternal freedom from sin and its consequences.
Want your organizational ministry blood, sweat, and tears to count for something? Don’t just churn out more church mice. Produce, with the Holy Spirit’s help, men, women, teenagers and children equipped, willing, and able to direct the world’s attention to God’s divine perfection, the greatest display of which is the Gospel we’re called preach, prove, and illustrate. The Father will take it from there.