Ministry Design Teams

Tuesday Re-mix –

In my law practice, a bit of my litigation work is in the area of construction litigation.  Large construction jobs seem to have more than their share of contention among the players.  It seems that the job the design team (i.e., the architects and engineers) envisions and the job the contractor actually finds in the field are often not the same job.  That difference leaves lots of room for lawyers, if you know what I mean.

But it is a real benefit for an owner with a dream for a building to be able to go to a design team of architects/engineers, tell them what he/she in wanting to do, and have that team of professionals produce a blueprint for getting it done.  After all, that owner may or may not have any experience building buildings.  They need someone who can take their “dream” and draw up a set of detailed plans for making it happen.

That, it seems to me, is exactly what every church needs for ministry.

If you have followed this blog long at all, you know how strongly I believe in an empowered laity in the church.  I believe every believer (i.e., every church member) has at least one assignment, one ministry.  I believe all of us are supposed to be pouring ourselves into others through at least one ministry mechanism.  Frankly, it is why we are still here on this earth.

But I’m not so sure all of our churches have really embraced that reality.  I wonder if all our churches are really ready to hear ministry ideas from their laymen?  If the Spirit of God so moves in someone in your church and that person comes to your leadership with that idea, that passion for ministry, are you ready to receive that person and empower them toward ministry?  Is there someone in your church (or better yet, a team of people) who knows how to listen to that new idea and then help that person put legs to it?  Are there systems in place in your congregation to help someone negotiate the obstacle course ahead of them in the areas of budget, logistics, facilities, communications, recruiting volunteers, training volunteers, leadership, etc.?

That is what we need: a “ministry design team”.  We need a small group of people with expertise in various areas who can draw up a “blueprint” for a lay leader (or minister, for that matter) who has a clear vision for a new ministry.  Why would we otherwise expect the person with the passion for the ministry to have all the details worked out with expert efficiency?  More times than not, the person with the big picture in mind for the ministry is NOT the person with all the details.  They need help.  They need a ministry design team, just like owners need architects and engineers in order to get a building built.

And it seems to me that we, the church, should be dreaming new ways to provide that.

What about your church?  Have you found ways to do this?  I would love to see your comments!

© Blake Coffee

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3 responses to “Ministry Design Teams”

  1. What about your church? Have you found ways to do this? I would love to see your comments!

    Makes me all warm inside to be able to say that the body of Christ that I belong to, calling itself Community of Faith, has been revolutionary in supporting its members growth by giving everyone the opportunity to speak through the Holy Spirit.

    In 300 AD Emperor Constantine changed all the rules when he made Christianity a “State Religion”

    Before that many churches were meeting in homes, where most, if not all, had the ability to participate fully in worshipping God.

    Romans 16:5 NIV
    Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

    1 Corinthians 16:19 NIV
    [Final Greetings] The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.

    To this day I have not found any place in the scriptures where fellow believers are referred to as laity or clergy, words which only serve to separate and “elevate” some individuals over others. Yes Paul appointed elders, deacons and pastors, but there is no mention of an individual in the new testament that even remotely sounds like Pastor Tom Dick or Harry. These became titles when what they have always been were callings. It started the process towards those that know, the experts and those that don’t know.

    In our church folks that stutter do opening prayer. Those with learning disabilities read scripture aloud.

    We believe this makes Jesus smile. Too many times we seek the voice of God to come only from the pulpit and close ourselves off from hearing God’s voice coming from the humble, the poor, the less affluent, less educated in our church.

    The Bible says Peter and John were unschooled.

    Acts 4:13 NIV
    When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

    Yet in so many congregations it is the unschooled who have a voice.

    When Constantine took over things changed.

    Here is a glimpse at what worship used to be like.

    1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV
    [Orderly Worship] What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

    Everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, etc. Everyone

    When Constantine took it over. The church was moved into Greco-Roman buildings. The professionals took over. They became more like theaters of Christ or Spectator sports.

    The message is in the medium, when you are told to sit in theater like setting with rows of pews. The message that emanates forth is “sit back and shut up, we will do all the talking.”


    Yet in so many congregations it is the unschooled who have no voice.

  3. If what I post inspires some and maybe challenges others then I have done my job.

    We always have to serve our consciences and our amazing and love God above all else as Paul reminds us.

    Galatians 1:10 NIV
    Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

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