Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meetings Vrs Ministry

One of the reasons that many church members are not active in ministry is because they are so busy attending committee meetings that they don’t have any real time left for actual ministry. The average church would be much healthier if it eliminated half of its meetings to allow more time for ministry and relational evangelism. One of the reasons church members don’t witness to their neighbors is because they don’t know them! They are always at church, attending meetings.

Several years ago, the Roper Organization conducted a survey of leisure time in America. They discovered that Americans today have less discretionary time today than they had in the 1970s or 80s. The average American has about 10 hours a week in leisure time.

The most valuable asset people can donate to their church is their TIME. Since people have less discretionary time, church leaders are wise to make sure that this donated time is used in the best possible manner. If a layperson or church member comes to me and says, “Pastor, I have four hours a week of free time that I would like to offer in volunteerism,” the LAST thing I would do is put that person on a committee. I want him/her to be involved in an actual ministry, not bureaucracy.

A common mistake made by many churches is to take their brightest and best people and turn them into bureaucrats by giving them more meetings to attend or more committees to chair. You can drain the life out of people by scheduling a constant string of committee meetings. We have no committees at PCC. We do, however, have more that twenty-five different lay ministries.

What is the difference between a committee and a ministry? Committee members discuss it, but ministries do it. Committees argue, ministries act. Committees maintain, ministries minister. Committees talk, ministries serve. Committees discuss needs, ministries meet needs.

Committees also make decisions that they expect other people to implement. At PCC, the implementers are the decision makers. The people who do the ministry get to make the decisions about that ministry (within the boundaries of our vision/doctrine/structure/mission). It has always been that way. We do not separate authority from responsibility, but trust people with both. This makes committees irrelevant.

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