3) Put on our seatbelts and get ready for the ride!
Greetings to you all as participants in the Leadership Hall. I am writing with an update of our next steps.
By now there are two concrete things that should be settled in our minds:
1) Organizational Culture; and
2) Ministry Practitioner
Last week we discussed the theory and practice of ministry. We gave this a term that will become a part of our organization’s culture: “the ministry practitioner.” If at this point you feel like you have more questions than answers, this is good because that is exactly how you should feel. In the days ahead we will begin to form a vivid picture of what this term means, and what it means that all of us are ministry practitioners of the gospel.
We are here because God has called us to both ministry and leadership. While these words may go hand and hand, they also can stand distinctly alone. Ministry is a word that describes service. Leadership is a word that describes direction and development. When the two words are combined, we see the service of interpersonal development.
Ask yourself these two questions:
1) Is there something I could do right now that would make my work in ministry “less effective?”
2) Is there something that I could do right now that would cause people to be “less likely to follow my lead?”
The obvious answer to both questions is “yes.” Therefore, it also follows that there is something that we can do that would improve our effectiveness as both ministers and leaders. This understanding of the “ingredients” that improve our effectiveness is what we will call “theory.” The experience of applying theory is what we will call “application.” One without the other is useless.
Theory without application is only knowledge that has no practical purpose. (Some of our lofty theology is a good example). Application without theory is an experience that takes place without planning, direction, or measurements of effectiveness. (A good example is the act of someone being unprepared but hoping for the best…). Neither theory nor application by themselves are biblical, but together they are a wonderful representation of what God expects of His ministers. We see this all throughout scripture. God gave Noah, Moses, and Solomon strategic instructions in the building of the ark, tabernacle, and temple. The same is true of Jesus who told his people to “go in twos” and to “go unto all the world”, etc. Additionally, Paul instructs us to “study to show ourselves useful to God, workman that need not to be ashamed…” (2 Tim. 2:15). In this verse the word “study” can be viewed as theory, and the word “workman” can be viewed as application.
Very soon we will begin to introduce theory to everyone here. We will follow it with application by offering projects that will permit us to apply these principals to ministry. Some of the things we need to accomplish are: the rebuilding of our mentor program, establishing a curriculum for our jail ministry, generating a support group for church planting, writing articles about how to approach areas of ministry such as counseling, evangelism, elderly care, etc. These are just to name a few. We will be calling on you to enjoy the rich experiences of helping us to accomplish these goals. So I ask that we put on our seatbelts and get ready for the ride! We are about to start discovering things about ourselves, and other believers that will be transformational.
As an affirming statement of purpose, trust, and goodwill, please respond to this post (in your own words) stating that you are:
Committed to God’s call on your life, and that you are
Committed to advancing His calling in the lives of others, and that you are
Committing yourself to the fellowship of one another in this organization so that you may be used by God to enrich others, and that they may also enrich you.