Launching gifts-based ministries in your church effectively will involve a step-by-step process for putting gifts into action, moving people incrementally from discover of their gifts and calling to involvement and impact. Essentially, you will need to spend time planning and organizing to ensure a successful launch of your gifts-based ministry.
I few years ago I attended an after-church gathering for people interested in getting involved an a specific type of community ministry. It was something my wife and I felt called toward, so we attended. The presentation was excellent and at the end we were ready to sign up. The problem was… there was nothing to sign up for. The call for volunteers had gone out before the ministry was formed. There was no concrete way to volunteer and no roles for which to volunteer. We left disappointed. They had raised expectations without providing a way to help people find a fulfilling place of ministry.
From the perspective of the congregant, the process looks linear: they discover their spiritual gifts, explore their passions, identify their calling, find a team, and become part of that effective ministry. From the leadership end, all of these steps need their groundwork laid in advance of the launch. And because people may not fit into all the categories you’re expecting, your groundwork needs to be somewhat flexible.The process of helping people discover and use their spiritual gifts is an important dimension of a healthy and growing church. Click To Tweet
The process of helping people discover and use their spiritual gifts is an important dimension of a healthy and growing church. Take the time to make sure that you maintain high quality in your spiritual gifts placement system. People are by far the most valuable resource of a church. Work through this list to pre-think all of the necessary steps before inviting people to join the process of discovering their gifts.
1. Decide what spiritual gifts need to be used in your church.
- Lists and definitions of gifts vary, so do some research and create a benchmark that will help you people while still providing some flexibility.
- Choose an appropriate gift inventory or assessment method.
2. Define existing volunteer needs and ministry opportunities.
- Identify every role or task in your church.
- Ensure that every gift has a ministry outlet.
- Consider traditionally pastoral responsibilities that could be shared by other people.
- A good benchmark is to have 60 roles or tasks for every 100 people in attendance.
- Write a simple job description for each ministry position.
3. Design a placement system suitable for your church.
- Decide how you will structure gift-based ministry in your church.
- New Member’s classes
- Gift Discovery groups
- Spiritual gift workshops
- Gather needed materials (before interviewing and placing people).
- Interview forms or placement cards
- Gift questionnaires
- Job description notebooks
- Any other written documents you may need
4. Prepare your leaders before “going public” with your launch.
- Obtain necessary permissions from each area of church leadership.
- Process other key leaders and ministry coordinators.
- Engage in two-way communication, emphasizing benefits such as relieving overload and having more satisfied volunteers.
5. Recruit and train ministry placement consultants or gift discovery group facilitators.
- Generally their gift mix will include exhortation, wisdom, administration and/or discernment
- Aim for one advisor to help six people per month. More than that will likely burn out volunteers.
6. Educate the congregation about spiritual gifts.
- Develop your plan to introduce the spiritual gifts ministry to the church.
- Examples include sermons, written articles or blog entries, testimonies from laypeople, gift discovery groups, workshops, etc.
- Encourage people to take next steps discover and use their gift(s).
7. Guide people into appropriate ministry positions.
- Conduct spiritual gifts interviews and suggest appropriate options.
- Follow-up to ensure placement. Don’t skip this step—it’s actually very important!
- Continue education and placement process indefinitely. Once you have created this system, keep it reproducing as new people come into the congregation.
Need help to launch or restructure ministries according to spiritual gifts?
I realize this is a lengthy blog post and this process could seem overwhelming. Coaching gives you the follow through you need to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself and your ministry. If you want help to implement a spiritual gifts mobilization process in your church, click HERE to reach out for a complimentary 30-min discussion.
Becoming Barnabas- How can you disciple, develop, and support those around you? How can that relational investment lead to a powerful impact on the church and on the surrounding community? This book focuses on practical “how” questions like these. If you want to see ministry coaches activated in your community, Becoming Barnabas is the place to start. Available in paperback and Kindle and in English and Spanish.
Barnabas Ministry Training– This turnkey kit is a simple and reproducible system for local churches looking to provide basic coach training for their staff and lay leaders. Modeled after Barnabas and his biblical example of the power of encouragement, coaching is an invaluable tool to help your people and ministries flourish in their unique callings and functions within the church and the community.
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