Myths that get in the way of ministry
Myth 1: We cannot place expectations on our members.
Community organizations and sports clubs have no problem communicating clear expectations about people’s involvement yet churches are often reluctant to do so. When growing up, I remember hearing that I must worship at least once a year to remain a member at my home congregation. I can’t think of any organization I’ve been involved in that had such lax standards.
Myth 2: People today are unwilling to serve.
This myth results from a lack of vision, a lack of understanding about people’s gifts and passions, and a lack of options in which people can choose to contribute. Most members are willing give their time, energy and resources to ministries when they are passionate about the cause, when they know that their time will be well-spent, when they know they’ll make a difference, and when they are personally invited.
Myth 3: Discipleship and evangelism are two separate things.
As Christians, we are called to “go and make disciples.” I’m not sure how one does that without one being a being a vibrant and verbal witness for Him. Evangelism is the joyful task of every Christ follower, not just those who are “gifted.” The role of Evangelism Committees should be to equip people how reflect upon and share their faith stories with others, inviting others to do the same.
Myth 4: Christian education is for young people.
We forget that faith formation is a lifelong process where everyone has a next step for going deeper as a follower of Christ. If we want Christian children and youth, then we need Christian adults who model a vibrant faith for all ages.
Myth 5: Programs are the primary way to fulfill our mission.
People often become more committed to a program than to fulfilling the purpose of the church. Programs are launched without listing desired outcomes nor having any plans for how the program will be evaluated. My roles is to ask what seem like dumb questions such as, “What are you are seeking to accomplish through offering this program?” and “Is this the BEST way to achieve the result your looking for?” Our focus on offering “good” programs can prevent us from providing “great” opportunities for fulfilling our mission.
Myths limit our impact for being a transformational presence in our world and rob our capacities to maximize our efforts and fulfill our mission. What ministry myths or assumption are you holding on to that no longer serve God’s mission for your congregation? What might you do to begin to dismantle the things that hinder rather than help?