In my last post, I compared becoming a church’s pastor to inheriting a workshop. You have a lot of tools and materials to help make disciples, you just may not understand the set up of the workshop yet. It will take you a little bit of time to learn the organization.
Today I wanted to talk about one of the things I wish I had done when I had arrived at both of my two churches – an ‘inventory’ of ministries. Going back to the workshop imagery, imagine that you have dozens of tools, an entire room full of lumber, and what seem like a countless supply of nails, screws, glue, and so on. At some point, you’re going to want to know what you’re working with. So here are a few thoughts and questions to ask as you inventory your church’s ministries:
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Imagine that you receive a phone call or email one day, explaining that your uncle passed away and left you their workshop in the will. “That’s great”, you might think. You kind of always wanted your uncles shop.
That is, until you get there, and it looks like this:
Now sure, your uncle knew the system for the shop, but it just looks like chaotic clutter to you. You know that you have a lot of tools and materials in there that you could use. You just need to organize it all a little bit.
Getting appointed or assigned to a church can be a lot like inheriting a workshop. There are a lot of tools and materials for doing ministry. And some people know the system. But looking from the outside in, you can’t see it right away. So here are a few thoughts to help you out when you inherit a workshop. Continue reading →
Somedays, I wake up with enough energy and motivation to run a half marathon, write a book, and build a bookcase by hand. Other days, I wake up and just wish I could move my fridge into my living room so I could watch ten hours of tv without getting up for food or drinks. Some days I have more “Go” than “To Do”, but most days, I’m running behind on motivation and energy (what I call “Go”).
I imagine I’m not the only person who struggles with balancing the things that need to get done with the energy to do them.
Here’s how I try to manage my “Go” Continue reading →
By now, if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you are certainly aware of the game ‘Pokemon Go’. It’s a game that uses your smart phone and nostalgia to encourage kids (and young adults) go for walks all over town. There is an interesting component to the whole game that churches should be aware of. The game includes different stations around town where people can go and regain supplies for the game. Fun fact – Churches are almost always one of these stations.
Just yesterday morning, I saw two young boys sitting on my churches lawn for a half an hour, because my church (Twin Oaks UMC) happens to be one of those stations. There are several ways churches could use this game to build relationships with their communities. Here are a few ideas and suggestions: Continue reading →
Every community, from the smallest village to the largest city, has a character all its own. One of the most important things a pastor or ministry leader can do is understand that character. It will tell you what ministries are needed and how your church could go about initiating them. And with so many United Methodist pastors settling into their new appointments, I thought this would be a good time to share 6 things to help you learn about your community. (For the record, you can be in year twenty of your ministry at a church and still benefit from these.)
As a point of citation, the points (in bold) are the work of Michael Mata, and the questions are the work of Michael Frost, who is a professor of Missiology and my additions.
So here are six things you should look at to understand your community: Continue reading →