Does your ministry really need you?
There are two types of people in any ministry. People who add value and people who subtract value. Like JFK said,
“Ask not what your ministry can do for you, but what you can do for your ministry” (or something like that).
Here are seven ways you can be a person who adds value to your ministry.
Be an “Owner”
Your ministry probably doesn’t sell stock, but you can have a “bought in” mentality. Know the vision and values and adopt them as your own.
Find someone who has been around longer than you and spend time with them asking about the ministry’s history and direction for the future. Maybe they’re a leader on a different campus or a regional supervisor.
You will never be able to help reach your ministry’s vision if you don’t know what it is.
Many jobs are based on getting paid by the hour. Ministry can be more ambiguous.
We need self-starters who seek out opportunities to get discipled and pursue the lost.
Jesus calls these people “laborers” for a reason. It’s hard work! If you want to disciple people who are learners who seek out people to invest in, you have to set the pace and be a model by taking initiative.
Speak well of your ministry to others
What you do in moderation, your disciple will do in excess. But, it seems like this is only true for negative habits.
If I am critical of an aspect of my ministry in moderation, in a short time the people I’m discipling will be critical of the entire process.
Even if I don’t understand why we do certain things, I need to show submission and excitement for my ministry, especially around people I’m discipling.
Speak of your organization to others
Within the first 4-5 conversations you initially have with someone you will probably talk about everything that is important to you. If you never talk about your ministry, it really isn’t that important to you.
If you work for a church, or a campus ministry, I would expect you to be excited about your job and not able to wait to tell me about your next service or event. I would be shocked if you didn’t invite me to something.
Don’t be a sleeper agent for your campus ministry. Be a full on ambassador.
Help build your ministry instead of building yourself
Someone who is in ministry for his or her self will never add value. They will always create a detriment because the resources they will be entrusted with will always be directed to them.
Be someone who wants to use your talents and gifts to build up your ministry. Yes, you might not always get the credit for your hard work, but eventually your dedication and commitment will show.
Remember we plant, someone else waters, but God causes the increase. At the end of the day we aren’t the ones making the impact on souls, it’s God doing all the heavy lifting.
Defend your ministry
Share feedback with people who can make a difference in your ministry, not with people who could only start dissension.
I know all the weaknesses of my family. Sometimes we even joke about them. But if you start making fun of my family, the fight is on!
Someone who adds value to their ministry will defend it around others in a way that is tactful and rational. They will help people try to understand the reason their ministry made that tough call or controversial decision.
Paul values unity so much, he tells Titus to only give someone who causes division a couple chances before “having nothing more to do with him.” Don’t be that guy.
Don’t “Bite the hand that fed you.”
Every year we see students walk away from our ministry because we are too “this” or not enough “that.”
Sadly they may have picked that up from leaders who told them why they changed churches or ministries when they were in college. We need to extend grace to other ministries who operate differently than we do.
Help students learn to “be thankful in all circumstances” by speaking highly of the ministries and churches you have been blessed by.
And unless there is an error with the gospel they preach, leave any criticism at the door. You are training them in how they will speak about your ministry some day.