Matching Gifts with Mission

Are people placed in ministry positions just to fill empty slots? Or does your congregation’s ministry selection process match gifts with mission? The newly released special edition of CALLED magazine answers those questions in its focus on equipping members for service. CALLED can be viewed on your smartphone or tablet and can be downloaded on either the ios or googleplay platforms. 

Some of the greatest challenges pastors face in the local church are in the area of equipping members for ministry service, igniting their spiritual giftedness, and helping identify leader’s personal passions for sustained ministry. Training, equipping, motivating, encouraging and identifying potential volunteer leaders is an on-going cycle within the congregation. This on-going cycle often pressures churches to assign responsibilities to volunteers without orientation or training. However, assigning a warm body to be the leader without training or expectation is an injustice. The faithful evangelist and my professor in college, E.E. Cleveland said, “it is an injustice to include people without informing them.”

If meaningful ministry is to happen in the local Seventh-day Adventist Church, how best can members/volunteers be trained and equipped for service? How can we insure that members or even visitors for that matter, volunteer in our congregations? What are the best practices for membership engagement in ministry of service? Once a person is chosen to be a church leader, what’s the next step? How can volunteers be utilized to their maximum capacity? What ministries are a ‘must have’ in the local church?  What are ways to make ministry functions sustainable? In this issue of CALLED we view these questions and more through the windows of a variety of church ministry leadership positions.

The nominating committee time, or the selection process of church leaders, is pivotal to the fruitfulness of the local church.  Having spiritually gifted people serving in places of passion is essential for viable ministry. Having a greater understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist church manual’s suggested process, being engaged in need assessment based community dialogue, and knowing your congregation’s strengths and weaknesses are just a few more ways to ensure members are engaged and resourced for service.

This quarter’s magazine, not only addresses some ministry opportunities and leadership roles people can serve in at the local church, it also practically shares ways in which ministries can function more effectively.  Looking through the lenses of certain local church ministries, our authors share new and exciting views of church ministry positions. Some have written about best practices for ministry involvement, and others will share short case studies of what works.

Watch the documentary and vignettes featuring Ramone Griffith, associate pastor of the Capital Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington, D.C. as he visits the North American Division office. You’ll travel with him as he talks with NAD ministry leaders and discovers some of the varied and many resources that can be used in the local church.

I leave you with this question. Are people placed in ministry positions just to fill empty slots, or does the mission of your congregation require you to carefully select and equip leaders for relevant ministries.

Ivan L. Williams, Sr.