As we think through how to connect unconnected people through Bible study, one thing stands out: each member of the faith family should find a ministry role. When church members have no role or sense of personal responsibility, it is easy for them to remain unconnected. After all, there is no expectation of preparation or participation. No one will be disappointed if the unconnected person does not show up. No job will be left undone.
That, at least, is what the unconnected person is allowed to believe.
Intentionality in Leadership will Encourage Growth
Leading every member to find their role in their faith family — their local church — is among the most important responsibilities of church leaders. We cannot wait for new believers to figure this out by osmosis or on their own. We must intentionally lead them in this important area of growth.
If you are having trouble finding your role, or want to be more effective in helping people find their roles, consider these options:
1. Discover your spiritual gift. Three of the New Testament Epistles address spiritual gifts, the way the Holy Spirit meets needs in the faith family. Each believer is gifted as the Holy Spirit, in His wisdom, distributes the gifts.
There are a number of spiritual gift inventories available for helping with this. If no gift survey can be obtained, use the Bible alone as your guide. Ask a mature believer to watch your life and evaluate what your gift or gifts might be. Seek God’s Word for confirmation.
2. Determine your personality type. Some people are introverts, while others are extroverts. Some people are creative, some are problem solvers, some are questioners, some are team builders, and so on. This will help you determine whether a specific person in the greeter ministry would fit better in the parking lot (where personal interaction is less) or welcoming people at the door (where personal interaction is greater).
Our personalities are developed by God, and should not be excluded as a means of growing the body of Christ. They are as susceptible to spiritual fine-tuning as any part of our being.
3. Explore needs in existing ministries. There is virtually no church with 100% volunteer capacity at all times. How does a person’s giftedness and temperament fit within existing ministry opportunities? Some things that seem insignificant can really bring a great deal of encouragement. You would not think it makes a lot of difference for the pastor to have a fresh water bottle on the stage each week, but you’d be shocked how much it does. A smiling, friendly person who welcomes preschoolers can relieve the anxious parent’s heart.
I grew up in a church with 30-40 people weekly, and since that time I have pastored churches of all sizes. One common denominator between these churches: they all have a major need for people to be involved in ministries. In fact, the larger the ministry, usually the greater the need.
4. Look for gaps between ministries. Some people are especially gifted to start new things. These entrepreneur types typically see the holes in ministry and figure out ways to fill them. To paraphrase Jesus’ words at Lazarus’ tomb, “Loose ‘em and let ‘em go!” Allow them to follow God’s leading and, before you know it, more ministry will be taking place within your church!
What does this mean?
Simply, it means people who were formerly unconnected will become connected. There is also a much better chance of each remaining connected as he or she takes ownership of the ministry role or becomes a team member.
Involvement Becomes Contagious
Ministry involvement can also lead to small group, Sunday school, and/or Bible study involvement. A person unconnected to a small group, but in a ministry relationship, already has a relational connection to the group. We find it easier to connect a person who has some connection already than a person who has none. This is true of ourselves and of others.
The new Bible Studies for Life Curriculum Series that kicks off this fall is committed to providing curriculum that will be so engaging that the unconnected will want to connect; however, we leaders must do what we can to get them there the first time and follow up engaging them weekly in a group.
Helping the unconnected find their role in the faith family will result in more ministry, more Bible study and stronger believers.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church Northwest Arkansas General Editor, Bible Studies for Life
*Simplify the Gospel message for everyone
*Clearly present the Gospel powerfully
*Equip the church to do ministry
*Build up the church toward unity
*Empower the church to win others
The church, not even the church in 2013, should never minimize the value of the gift of the evangelist.
We Witnessed The Gift of the Evangelist
On Saturday and Sunday, we witnessed the gift of the evangelist through the life and ministry of Clayton King. Clayton travels to churches like ours and presents the Gospel message simply for all to understand and clearly for all to embrace personally. This gifted evangelist taught the Word of God to us from Luke 24, never compromising or dumbing it down in any way. Clayton serves as the Teaching Pastor for NewSpring Church, additionally he serves as the Campus Pastor for Liberty University. The diversified usage of his gift, strengthens the body of Christ globally, even while he ministers to the next generation weekly and effectively. As a result of this gift being exercised and received in our fellowship on Saturday and Sunday, at least 200 people, of all ages, embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.
We Believe in the Gift of the Evangelist
Through the years, we have been blessed to have many evangelists be used by God in our fellowship. Just to name a few, we have had great men of God like Tim Lee, Rick Scarborough, Freddie Gage, Jay Strack, Ken Freeman, Alan Celoria, David Ring, Greg Laurie, and scores of others. Each time, God used them uniquely to engage the lost and un-churched with the message of the Gospel.
Use the Gift of the Evangelist
Regardless of your personal giftedness or your church’s personality, as the church we are called to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations. The gift of the evangelist can assist you to fulfill this goal, especially in reaching your local town, city or region. As a pastor or a leader in your church, you can see your church come to life when it sees people come to Christ. Nothing energizes the church like seeing people come to faith in Jesus Christ. The evangelist can help you energize your church.
Eugene and Others
Following the worship experience this past Sunday at our Pinnacle Hills location, a man, Eugene, walked straight up to me. He stated how he came to church because his daughter asked him to come. He had been sick, in the hospital, released on Friday, and knew little to nothing about the Lord. On Sunday, he fulfilled the request of his daughter to come to church.
However, while he was there, God softened his heart towards the message of the Gospel. As soon as he told me his story, I went straight to a very direct question about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He had no relationship with Jesus and he knew it. Within five minutes, he embraced Jesus Christ and I had the joy of leading him to Jesus Christ personally.
As soon as Eugene received Christ, I introduced him to one of our staff team members, Bob Ryan. Bob will follow-up with Eugene, see him baptized soon, and move forward in discipling him in his new-found faith. It all began with Eugene’s daughter challenging him, followed by Eugene hearing an evangelist present the Gospel powerfully and simply. Then I questioned him, being intentional to see him come to Christ, and then I directed him toward someone who will insure his discipleship journey. As I had him share his story with Clayton King and others, God once again affirmed the gift of the evangelist. He uses all kinds of people to build up His church!
May Miracles Like These Continue!
Ronnie W. Floyd