Some pastors ask individuals what they want to do—what is their calling—and then send them off to go start that ministry in the church’s name. Everyone runs off in different directions and the church ends up with dozens of different priority ministries: food pantries, tutoring centers, pregnancy support, music programs, prison ministries, recovery groups, serving refugees, and on and on and on.
But here’s the difficulty: just as individuals have specific callings from God, so do churches. No church can do everything and do it all well. If we try to do too many things, most often nothing of substance gets accomplished.Just as individuals have specific callings from God, so do churches. No church can do everything and do it all well. Click To Tweet
Sometimes God puts a particular passion on someone’s heart and that becomes their calling. The challenge then is to discern whether and how that fits with the calling of a particular local congregation. What is God calling this particular community toward? Sometimes you will find alignment, and in some cases, a person’s individual calling doesn’t line up with that church community.
When callings align
When I was a pastor, one woman came to me with a vision for a mercy ministry (or care team, as she called it) that dovetailed wonderfully with the vision of the church. The ministry she started became an integral part of the church.
When callings don’t align
Another man came to me with a vision for an orphanage. It was an equally Kingdom-oriented ministry, but it didn’t fit within the parameters of what our particular local congregation was called to do. It just wasn’t within the capacity of what we could do. I referred him to a local non-profit where he could serve according to his calling, but he remained part of our church.
In some cases, we need to help people find a church that’s not our own. They may need to go and become part of a congregation that is more engaged with a particular ministry. And that is okay. Love them through the transition by walking alongside them in their search for a home church that better aligns with their calling.
A bigger vision
None of us can do everything on our own, and that goes for congregations as well as individuals. But the good news is that together, the church universal can reach into all of these different kingdom-focused ministries. Through collaboration with other organizations and ministries, we can reach every corner of the globe and all of the people groups in it. The key is discerning how individual callings fit within congregational callings, and how congregational callings fit within the larger work of the kingdom of God.Through collaboration with other organizations and ministries, we can reach every corner of the globe and all of the people groups in it. Click To Tweet
Becoming Barnabas- We want people to live into their calling but helping them discern what that is and take the next steps toward it does not need to fall solely on the Lead Pastor. Becoming Barnabas casts vision for the powerful difference a coaching ministry can make in your church.
Barnabas Coach Training- Are you interested in creating a Barnabas Ministry Team? We have created a six-week training program that trains ministry coaches. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.