One of the most vital challenges congregations face now are how do you involve the people in the pew and motivate them to use their gifts in service to God and His kingdom. Pastor’s sometimes are their own worst enemy in this undertaking. If we are honest, we prefer the notion of being the professional leading from the front. After all, we are highly trained professionals and have the student debt as a constant reminder. It is easy if we are not careful to take on the star quarterback mentality. While leading from the front requires less time and effort it is not the most efficient form of ministry and discipleship. Members get left behind and left out of ministry in this approach. This concept of ministry and discipleship is not what Jesus modeled nor advocated. Jesus fostered an environment where the disciples were fully engaged in ministry. Modern disciples are called to do ministry in both far off distant lands and in the communities God has planted His Church. And that call to ministry is not an occasional service here and there but consistent. We get the honor to serve God and His kingdom in our community, in our vocations, at school, on the bus, at home, and even at church. How do we make the mental mind shift to do this?
Connect people young and old to a greater purpose.
Your members will not be engaged because you as leader say they should. Lord knows that would be great. People need more. Give your people a definite purpose “how” they can make a difference. Then give them the clear mission. That is the “why.” Identify their unique calling. That is the “what.” People care about the cause. Often in our congregations, we think we have communicated our purpose, mission, and calling, but if you forced churches to articulate those three questions many struggle to explain the reason they exist. Test this in your church. Take a straw poll of the congregation’s mission you will get answers that are all over the map. If your purpose and mission are fuzzy, clarify them. If you have no idea where you are leading people, take the time to gain clarity. Then communicate that higher purpose to your flock when you seek to mobilize a team to go into the mission field with you make the mission about more than filling a position for an hour on Sunday. Answer the questions of how their service impacts the overall ministry and purpose of the church. Before people give up their free time, they need to see tangible evidence of fruitfulness and a clear line between what they do and what moves the needle.
Give members the opportunity to serve.
Advice from Ross Perot about how to treat your people: “Never ask anyone to do what you haven’t done before and wouldn’t do again. That’s a pretty fundamental rule in leadership… treat them like you treat yourself. Things you don’t like, they don’t like. You don’t like to be jerked around; they don’t either. You don’t like to be talked down to, and they don’t either. You would rather work with somebody than for somebody. So, would they. You hate people who pound on your head after you gave everything you had and failed…It’s that simple.”
Christians are seeking a more prominent role to play in the Gospel story than merely sitting in the pews.They have heard countless sermons on all the various parts of the body of Christ and the many spiritual gifts given to the people of God. Now they are looking for a way to put their talents and passions to work as a vital part of the church’s ministry. To engage your flock in your church’s ministry, you’ll need to create opportunities or a path to leadership.Pastor’s here is the hard part for you look to give away leadership not just volunteer positions.
Even scarier invite opinions from those who are not seminary trained. To improve the overall feel and effectiveness of your congregation welcome feedback and push down decision-making to include your flock. By giving your people a greater involvement in leadership and ministry, you create an environment of collaboration and improved ministry buy-in.