8 Secrets of Life-Giving Ministry

Here are 8 Secrets of Life-Giving Ministry 

Great points to help keep the how and why of ministry in front of us at all times. I shared this with the Bayside Worship Leaders last night and it lit a spark in us all.

Critical Question
     What do growing ministries really do differently?

(Mark 4:26-29) He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

1. Empowering Leadership

Leaders of life-giving churches do not try to build up their own power to become all powerful. Exactly the opposite. They consider it as one of their most important tasks to help Christians develop greater degrees of empowerment, which according to God's plan already belongs to them.

Action Points
1. Encourage dreaming (Ask people what there dreams are. Help them to think creatively. Creativity is the key.)
2. Let leaders Lead (There is nothing worse than a leader who is trapped and can't lead)
3. Allow them to Challenge the process. (Challenge the process not the vision. Meaning How they accomplish the vision. They can challenge how to get there.)
4. Create an atmosphere of Encouragement 
   Celebrate victories and recognize contributions. - Public commendations are the best. 

2. Gift Oriented Ministry (Make sure you put the right people in the right place in ministry.)

The basis for this quality is the conviction that God has already determined which Christian should best assume which ministries in the church. The role of church leadership is to help its members identify their gifts and integrate them into ministries that match their gifts.  (We have to help people either in our ministry to shut the door on the yesterday to show them their destiny. We call it finding your 10)

Action Points
1. Do away with the volunteerism mentality. (Your not just a volunteer, you are actually winning people into the kingdom of God, are you just a volunteer christian? It's a warped mentality, we need to change our language as it comes to this.)
2. Have a process where people can Discover their gifts.
3. Make equipping people a high priority.
- If our motivation is recruiting for help we are not doing enough discovery. Brian Houston says, "The Oil is in the house." 2 Kings 4 - Story of Elisha and the widow.

3. Passionate spirituality

As far as healthy ministries are concerned, studies show that the important thing (as long as spirituality is real) is not the way spirituality is expressed, but the fact that faith is actually lived out with commitment, fire and enthusiasm.

Action Points
1. Focus on being a presence driven ministry.
2. Create a culture of Prayer and Fasting.
3. Include and find Intercessors for your ministry.

4. Functional Structures & Systems.

Ministry structures are never an end in themselves but always only a means to an end. The most important criterion for forms and structures in the ministry is if they fulfill their purpose or not. Healthy ministries change (or lay to rest) whatever does not measure up to this requirement. (Give Vision & Mission Statement Consistently to your team.)

Action Points
1.  Clarify a measurable win! (define a win for your team)
2.  With every service/rehearsal/event ask yourself: Is it Easy (Can everybody do it), Obvious (Does everyone know about it), & Strategic (Does it work)?
3.  Plan your ministry calendar around your purpose.  (This goes for your personal lives as well, determine what is a win for your family, and apply this to accomplish your #1 purpose)
4.  Eliminate events that don't serve your purpose.

5. Inspiring worship services

Research indicates that the question is not about worship style but instead the key criteria is something else: Is the worship service and inspiring experience for those who attend it? People who attending inspiring worship services unanimously declare that the church service is - and for some christians this is almost a heretical word - "fun".

Action Points
1.  Laugh
2.  Create comfort by focusing on Excellence. (We offer the greatest product, Jesus, to get customers (the lost) to come. The #1 thing we can create is to create comfort. To create comfort there must be excellence.)
3.  Embrace a spirit of Generosity.

6. Small Groups (We are not a church with small groups, we are a church of small groups. This is the culture of our church. For us small groups needs to be a priority.)

Many healthy churches have developed a system of small groups where individual Christians can find intimate community, practical help and intensive spiritual interaction. They become the essence of the true life of the church as they apply biblical insights to the everyday issues of the participants.

Action Points
1. Focus the groups around a common purpose.
     - Evangelism - connecting the disconnected.
     - Pastoral Care - coaching
     - Mentoring - relational discipleship

If we try to make people meet us where we are and not the opposite we will miss a lot of people and fail at trying to build people up spiritually & relationally.

7. Need Oriented Evangelism

Healthy ministries share the gospel in a way that meets the questions and needs of non-Christians. Praying for the lost, giving to missions, and celebrating changed lives creates a culture that makes "others" the reason we exist. Connecting the disconnected becomes the passion of the church. 

Action Points
1.  Keep the lost as the main focus of your attention.
2.  Communicate your "Points of Passion"
3.  Understand why people don't go to church.

8. Loving Relationships

Healthy ministries manifest a measurably higher "love quotient" than stagnant or declining ones. Un-offendable, practical love leverages a ministry with a much greater magnetic power than all the marketing efforts of this world.

Action Points
1.  Make yourself and your team available to people. (Step off the platform and pray with people after services.)
2.  Tell Stories. (Take a moment and tell stories of testimonies of prayer time after service.)
3.  Model a relational lifestyle.

5 Adjectives to describe what Jesus is like:

1. Authentic - Jesus' name would have been in the phone book. REAL

2. Relevant - Jesus would have done series that people understand (parables)

3. Enjoyable - When Jesus would walk away, people would follow waiting for more.

4. Accepting - He could have priest & prostitutes in the same room and pull it off.

5. Powerful - our generation is freaked out about power. Jesus was able to bridged the gap where "power" is not weird, but it's simply powerful.

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