taking the words of Jesus seriously

This is a sincere question for church leaders out there. When you get a truly on-fire Christian who wants to get busy working in their community, using their gifts, and making a difference, what do you do with them? So many people assume it is the “backsliding, ” “the lukewarm, ” or the “disengaged” who leave church or “church hop” but I have often found the opposite. I have seen many passionate and convicted Christians who find they just have no place their church.

What About Those of Us Tired of Spectating?

Church service is largely a spectator activity. What about those of us wanting to work? Do you have programs for discipling people into leaders? Do have training and understanding for helping people discover, identify, and grow their gifts and talents? Do you raise up teachers, writers, and speakers; or are only a few, or even one, ever allowed behind the podium? Do you help people of complementary talents connect with each other? Is the only way to get “involved” in your church volunteering as an usher or Sunday School?

Why Do We Hire From Without?

Have you ever noticed how few churches have pastors from their own flock? Even churches which have been around for decades seem to always hire from the outside. Does this not seem strange that we seem incapable of raising up leaders from within our own communities? Why must young passionate Christians leave their church homes, go in debt, and then look for ministry work abroad when they want to serve Christ?

Some Suggestions
These are some ideas and concepts I have seen or heard about. Do any of you practice or have experience with these at your church?

  • Networking with business leaders in the area for mentorships and job training
  • Apprentice programs to raise up your own staff, instead of always hiring from outside
  • Coordinating with local non-profits for charity instead of doing everything within your own walls
  • Form consistent support programs for single mothers, families with special needs or adopted children, and public servants
  • Coordinate resource sharing with other local churches to tackle large community needs
  • Establish technology solutions ministries for the tech-savvy and young to help empower and support other programs
  • Create cross-cultural ministries to form relationships across socioeconomic boundaries
  • Facilitate committed and supportive relationships to help people working their way out of poverty or leaving harmful environments
  • Look for experienced fathers and mothers who are now “empty nesters” or just very experienced to lead youth ministry, instead of using the young as “pastor practice” for aspiring graduates
  • Actually pay people in any of the above listed items so they can make it a rewarding part of their lives

We Want to Hear From YOU!
These, and other activities like them, are why many active Christians have to leave their churches. They find no support, leadership, or administration for actually getting to work in their communities. This post is intentionally short. Please send this to local church leaders you know, or respond if you are a church leader. Let’s get this conversation going!

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