More on Maintenance

Many of you have read what I’ve written over the years about “maintenance” in church ministry.   Some may appreciate a review or overview, though.   Please understand that this presentation is not meant to be taken in a negative way.

  1.  Maintenance ministry is providing service for church members to make their Bible and worship opportunities more comfortable and accommodative.   Examples are childcare, communion preparation, A/V, a clean church building, greeters, ample parking, security, etc.
  2.  Maintenance ministries in most cases are internally focused; that is, they are designed to meet the needs of church members versus those outside the church.   However, when visitors visit church services, they, too enjoy the benefits of maintenance ministries.   Guests may require special ministries.
  3. Generally speaking, local church members don’t get too excited about maintenance ministries UNLESS such ministries (for some reason) no longer exist or they offer inferior quality.    When maintenance ministries function well, they are often taken for granted and members don’t get excited about them or hold them in high esteem.    This lack of appreciation sometimes may translate into indifference, entitlement and taking such for granted.  This also may adversely affect fund raising for such ministries.   Generally speaking, brethren will not make sacrifices to finance maintenance ministries.   There is an exception:  if their lack of support personally affects them, they will fully support such a ministry.   Brethren are more likely to dig deeper into their pockets and get excited over some special staff member like a youth and/or family minister.   They are also more likely to give more and get excited over an addition to the church building or an entirely new edifice.

Bottom line:   brethren get excited not over maintenance ministries per se.  They get excited (and usually will give more and be involved more) over a ministry that benefits them personally or benefits someone they love (a child, a friend).

What I would add to all of this is that we can make maintenance ministries more exciting by being and doing one thing:   being evangelistic.   When we gear up to win souls and when we actually start having weekly and daily baptisms and our church services are full of new people, then maintenance is no longer ‘maintenance.’    Such ministries become necessary vehicles to serve the lost and they take on greater significance.   They will no longer be taken for granted or be allowed to be considered as a second rate or less important ministry.    Intentionally opening our lives and church buildings and ministries to the lost will cause many such things to happen.    Trav