Be Intentional!

I've been in pastoral ministry now for six and a half years.  Before that I worked in the computer industry for nearly 14 years.  In those 20 years I've seen a lot of different styles of companies.  I've seen very different church ministry models and leaders.  And even though all these organizations look very different at the micro level, I think  every single one of them can be put into one of two categories:
Those that are in REACTION mode and those that are in INTENTIONAL mode.
Let me explain this from what I've observed in the church world for the past half dozen years.  It would seem to me that the vast majority of churches are not intentional in how they do things.  In fact, it would appear that the leaders work much more in an reactionary type of way.  Something happens - we respond.  A crisis hits - we respond.  Someone resigns - we respond.  A phone call or an email in the morning will completely change the work plans for the day.

Now, of course, when an emergency happens it makes perfect sense that a phone call or email would and should change everything.  But that's not what I'm talking about... it just appears like those of us who work in the church world spend most of our working hours REACTING to events around us.  Now, I guess that wouldn't be a bad thing... it seems very spiritual and very caring.  It sounds very pastoral.  Unfortunately it's just not biblical!

If we're supposed to be using the Bible as our ultimate authority on how to lead a congregation then I think we need to take Ephesians 4:11-12 very seriously.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
This verse is pretty clear on what the role of the church pastor should be... it's to equip other people to do God's work.  It's definitely not to do all the work by themselves.

In order to equip other people we have to move from reaction type ministry to being intentional in the equipping of others.  Equipping doesn't happen naturally.  In fact, if we pastors are really honest, it's actually a lot easier to just do the work ourselves!  It's faster.  And we're good at it.  Equipping people takes time, energy, patience, love, guidance and a plan for getting it done.  We need to be INTENTIONAL with this.  If we just keep on reacting day by day we will never effectively equip others.

And here's the real problem with this... sadly, most of us won't realize that we need those equipped people until there's a problem.  Suddenly a key volunteer moves and we're in crisis mode.  A number of elders go on sabbatical and we're scrambling.  Our only worship leader decides to go to another church and we're in a panic.

If you don't intentionally raise up new leaders you won't have any when you desperately need them!  Let me repeat that: If YOU don't intentionally raise up new leaders YOU won't have any when you desperately need them!

That one idea is rocking my world right now.  My church needs me in INTENTIONAL mode.  The spiritual needs of this church family cannot and should not be met by just one person.  The whole body of Christ must be built up for the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom here in Ottawa and to the ends of the Earth!

I'm going to be working on this idea a lot over the next few weeks/months.  Feel free to comment, send suggestions and even pray for me in this.  We could all use the most help we could get to keep us from spending our entire ministry simply reacting.  It's time to be intentional!


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