HELP!! I’m Trying to Find Involvement Ministers
For over three years I’ve been looking for involvement ministers (IM). The reason is simple: I want to build a network of IMs who can assist each other and help those entering that ministry.
I do not know of any schools of preaching or colleges/universities that offer classes on this ministry.
Also, I am hearing more and more of full time evangelists, missionaries and youth ministers who are transitioning into involvement and yet I don’t know how they go about getting their training. I am also very much aware of the many different approaches to IM and different philosophies of IM.
My method: I have attempted to find IMs in various ways. One is to look at websites of churches of Christ (www.churches-of-christ.org). A more recent method is to call churches that have over 300 members (using the Directory of Churches of Christ in the United States). Churches with fewer members probably can only afford one minister and he is probably a pulpit minister. My focus has been primarily on the states that touch the State of Tennessee, but I have also spoken to congregations in other states. My focus has been on these states because the CIC (Church Involvement Conference) is here in Athens, TN and folks from surrounding states attend. Presently, I have contacted churches in seven states including approximately 124 phone calls. I have two states to go and about 96 more calls to make. A report is copied and pasted below this article.
What I’ve Learned So Far: I’ve talked with one female IM and a total of about nine IMs. IMs go by different names: IMs, Discipleship Minister, Family Life Minister, Spiritual Growth Minister, Connections Minister, etc. Some of these folks have transitioned out of another ministry (usually youth) and have differing job descriptions. An updated report follow this article.
What I ask: I ask questions about their training, books they’ve recently read, if they would write articles for this website, how long they’ve been doing IM and a host of other questions. Many of them have transitioned from a ministry to IM.
I make some offers: I encourage them to check out my website, to attend CIC, to submit articles for my website, and offer coaching and consulting. Some of these folks have travelled to Athens and we’ve spent a day or more together. That offer is open to any congregation or transitioning ministers.
What YOU can do: if you are reading this and you are an IM or know of any IMs, would you please contact me and introduce yourself or those you know who are IMs? That would save me lots of time for sure. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I will update this article from time to time so please keep an eye on it. Trav
Results of a Personal Search for Involvement Ministers
by Travis Irwin, 2017
Alabama – 45 calls
VM’s – 4 SEC/Office – 6 IMs – 5 Deacons – 4 Elders – 3 Assoc – 1 Couple – 1
Arkansas – 30 calls
VM’s – 4 SEC/Office – 3 IMs – 5 Deacons – 2 Elder – 3 Minister – 1 Assoc. – 3
Georgia – 10 calls
IMs – 5 Deacons – 1 Woman with the elders – 1 VM – 1
Kentucky – 18
VM – 2 IM – 3
Mississippi – 15 calls
VM – 2 Need one – 1 Office – 2 IM’s – 4 Deacons – 1
North Carolina – 9 calls
VM – 1 1 vmbox full No IMs in NC Sent materials to the churches with over 300 members
South Carolina – 5 calls
Deacons – 1 Office – 1 (IM called) Connections – 1 Need one – 1
Virginia – 5 calls
New members – 1 Office – 1 Family Life – 1
Criteria: congregations with over 300 members in states that physically touch Tennessee. No Non Institutional or One Cupper congregations were contacted.
5 of the IMs are female and the rest are male. I still have to do the stateof Tennessee (87 calls) which will bring the total to (when completed) 214 congregations.
Codes: VM is voicemail (left a voice seeking a return call), SEC is secretary (spoke only to the secretary), Deacon or Elder (he is the IM), Office (info sent to the church office to be distributed to the leaders), Assoc is associate minister who does the IM. In one situation, the eight elders do the IM. “Need one” is where the secretary commented that their congregation needed an IM. Today’s date is June 20, 2017. I send information to these about the “Church Involvement Conference,” this website, the retreats that I do for churches and a free booklet and this report. It is an honor and joy to talk to IMs; they range from new ones to those transitioning from one ministry to IM. They are all excited about their ministries.