Saturday, September 03, 2016

10 Simple Tips That Will Transform Pastoral Ministry

There are many ways to minister. But if you're looking for a few tips that are readily do-able yet transformative, try these. Most of them are easy to start, but take energy to sustain. That means they're worth doing. And although I think of these as pastoral opportunities, I kind of think they work well for all Christians who hope to strengthen their faith and their local congregation.

Hold a one-on-one with every member of your board every month.

Or if you don't have a board, then with everyone who is a key leader in your organization. A sit-down, one-hour session is often good, but in some instances, a chat on Sunday morning, a meaningful chat on FB, or a phone call can do nicely.

Choose one media venue and be there.

Propose a faith column for the local paper, or make friends with the local TV news hosts, so when they want a faith voice, they call you.

Adopt a blue-ocean strategy.

Most churches are designed to attract the same 40% of population--the population that already goes to church. Read about blue-ocean strategy, and find a way to begin connecting with the other 60%.

Engage in three forms of mission in every day life. 

Be involved in the community intentionally in these three ways. Easy fun--something you like to do and you already know how to do well (like coach soccer). Easy work--something you know how to do well but isn't necessarily fun (serve on a city council sub-committee or the PTA). And difficult work (something that is work and isn't easy because it requires traveling cultural distance, like learning Swahili at a local language center or volunteering with a cross-cultural community).

Be available for field assignments.

Teach a class at a life-long learning center, be a guest at a community college sociology of religion class, or speak with visiting groups who use your church facility.

Pray through the directory.

Once a week if possible. When you pray for each member, send notes out if something comes up in your prayers.

Start your list for those to be baptized or affirm baptism at the Easter Vigil on the Monday after Easter.

The catechumenate happens every year, and needs the sustained attention of the pastor in particular to be successful. A week shouldn't go by when you aren't actively updating your list of inquirers.

Pick a place to chaplain.

A prison. A nursing home. A factory. A fire department. A roller rink. A gaming community. Social activists.

Walk the neighborhood.

Often. Do this for years. After a while, the neighborhood will also walk to you, and walk with you.

Go to all the parties.

All the parties. Saturday nights. Birthdays. Because other than Sunday worship, it's all the parties where Jesus is showing up. God will totally surprise you at parties with opportunities for mission than almost anywhere else.

Read the Bible, pray, administer the sacraments, study, and make sure to take plenty of time for family and alone time (as much as you can or need, because introverts in particular need to recover from parties). But if you can adapt your schedule in any ways that conform more to these ten, you will benefit, and so will the mission of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment