And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-12

 

       Since Covid began, churches were shut down, ministries were interrupted, and some have been cautious in returning to church and serving in various capacities, many churches have struggled with finding sufficient volunteers to staff all of their ministries.  I think one key take away for many churches is that we have been more task-focused (getting the job/ministry accomplished) than we have been people-focused (equipping people for ministry).  Ephesians 4:11-12 clearly identifies one of the key tasks for shepherds/pastors/teachers is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. The next few weeks I am going to discuss 4 types of church members and how we can identify them and help them take the next step to finding fulfilment and encouragement in serving.  First, we have lots of people who we could classify as “Sitting – Passive.”  They come to church but seldom serve in any capacity.  These folks need to be educated in regards to God’s gifting and desire for His children to serve His body (the church).  Maybe some just don’t realize that God has a purpose for their lives beyond simply being saved.  Second, there are many whom we might classify as “Trying – Frustrated.”  They are serving in some capacity but often feel ineffective and frustrated.  These are people who might be in the wrong seat on the bus.  They are willing but possibly serving in an area where they are not gifted or have not had any training.  These folks need to be better equipped for the area they are serving.  A third group could be classified as “Waiting – Wondering.”  They have some gifts and are willing to be involved but they are waiting for somebody to ask them.  Maybe they came and said, “I’ll help wherever I’m needed” but nobody has plugged them into a particular ministry.  These people need to be enlisted.  Something I have learned in ministry is that asking everybody from the pulpit seldom works.  Face to face conversations are the most effective at enlisting volunteers.  Ministry leaders and pastors need to be prayerfully considering who would be good in certain positions and go to that person(s) and specifically enlist them.  Finally, we have those who are “Doing – Motivated.”  These are people who are the doers.  They are involved and effective in their ministry area.  We are thankful for these people and what they most need is to be encouraged.  We want to recognize their service, write them a note of appreciation and just remind them of how thankful we are for their faithful service.  

       Today, I will start with the first group (Sitting – Passive).  There is a significant proportion of church members who just show up on Sunday mornings but have never gotten connected with a ministry or area of service.  They need to be educated about God’s desire for every member to serve in some capacity for the good of the church body.  This fall (starting in September) we will offer an 8-week course on “Spiritual Gifts.”  Specifically, we will look at the motivational gifts listed in Romans 12.  Bro. Michael Boutot and myself will lead that study on Sunday evenings at 6:30 PM.  I hope you will consider attending and learning more about how God gifts His children for service and how you can utilize your gifts at Burlington Baptist.  

       As we discuss these categories, I invite you to reach out to me as to how I can help you move towards finding your place of fruitful and joyful ministry.  Maybe you need to be better equipped or you have been waiting for somebody to ask you to serve.  Help us help you in serving our Lord Jesus and His church.  I love the privilege the Lord has given me in serving His church and want you to enjoy the satisfaction of serving in Christ’s church.  It is part of my responsibility to equip the saints and I want to be faithful in that calling.  How can I help you?

 

Bro. Harold