Requesting and receiving information (from your members) along with assessments and coaching, you will get some useful information that will greatly bless your church and her ministries. In fact, you may create new ministries with this new-found knowledge. This information is priceless and you mustn’t forget that it takes a considerable amount of time to get it. Use it wisely.
How may you use it wisely? What happens in many congregations is that the information that has been discovered stops with the people who need to put it to use: the elders, the deacons and the ministry leaders. One writer calls this a bottleneck. Instead of being a conduit of information, this information gets stopped and doesn’t do anyone any good. Instead of precious information flowing through leaders, it gets stuck with leaders. Their lack of action impedes progress.
When all the researched information about your members is compiled and given to these church leaders, it should be used immediately. The good folks that took the time to fill out the inventories and receive coaching should be approached by those receiving the information so these good folks can be placed in ministry in order to use their gifts, passions, life experiences and life skills. If not, it’s a waste of time and money and the good folks that provided the church with this information may be upset or become apathetic when they are not put to work.
What’s the real problem? The problem is that many (well-meaning) deacons and ministry leaders will not delegate work to their new found work-force. Some deacons and ministry leaders prefer to do all the work themselves rather than training all the new volunteers that have been given to them (through the inventories and coaching).
The solution is simple: deacons and ministry leaders must take the time and put forth the effort to train others to do their work. Initially this may seem mad to do so, but the pay-off is huge to the deacons, the ministry leaders, the workers and to the church. If done well, ministries will grow in scope, in number, in size and effectiveness. Members will have ownership in the church’s ministry and you will have an air of excitement in your church.
Allow me to illustrate: if I am a deacon in charge of the “Financial Peace University” ministry and I integrate new workers into my ministry, I don’t have to do all the work in promoting, advertising, writing and facilitating the class. Others can do any or all that is necessary for the FPU ministry to be successful. In fact, they may do a better job than I. The ministry has more potential to grow numerically when I allow others to work within my ministry. The work of a deacon and ministry leader is get the (necessary) work done to make the ministry successful. However, the ministry leader or deacon does not have to do all the work him/herself. He/she can delegate it to others—in fact, if he/she is smart/wise he/she will do so.
If your congregation decides to start a serious involvement ministry, your deacons and ministry leaders need to pledge or promise not to become a bottleneck in the process of getting all your members involved in ministry. Their job is to facilitate everyone and put them to work—church leaders are to become conduits of precious information concerning members/volunteers. Simply put: this is making less work for the deacons and ministry leaders, not more. In fact, if they lead their ministry correctly, they can move onto other ministries and projects.
Even today, if your church has not assessed all the members, the deacons and ministry leaders must delegate their work out to other members in the church. If you do not do this, the deacons and ministry leaders lose, the members lose and the church loses great opportunities of growth, and the non-involved members continue to be non-involved. Refusing the delegate can also lead to burnout.
If you as a deacon or ministry leader want to formally get permission to delegate, please do so. If you seek this permission, I am convinced the elders will love to hear those words: “I’d like to delegate work in my ministry to others so they can use their gifts, passions and life skills.” Tada! That’s what church work is all about: putting everyone to work in the kingdom.