Having Significant Ministry Impact
We’re always told to think strategically about our financial investments–but not necessarily our ministry impact. As I squirrel away money for retirement, I’m told to diversify my portfolio and “not put all of my eggs in the same basket” for fear of a poor return.
However, if I took this same approach with my ministry calling I would be short-changing God and all that He has in store for me, my family, my community and perhaps even the world. He has given me specific spiritual gifts, life experiences, passions and personality traits that He intends to use for maximum results. If I lose focus on the specific area He has called me to, my “return on investment” or ministry impact will be poor indeed.
I’ve been reading Toxic Charity, and Bob Lupton suggests that the local church should consider the scenario above. He asks the question:
Is the American Church interested in creating a diversified missions portfolio or harnessing the specific gifts and talents of their members for maximum ministry impact?
In order to position our church for serious community impact, we need to make sure we are focused on the right target.
- What is our church passionate about? What do we regularly rally around?
- Are there specific professions / skills that are heavily represented in our body that might indicate an inroad to ministry?
- What is happening in our neighborhood or city that needs to be addressed? (Caution: avoid NIMBY syndrome – Not In My Back Yard)
In an earlier blog post we shared some helpful tips about mobilizing the passion in your church, feel free to give it a read for specific action steps, survey questions and ideas.
Once we start serving, the missions and ministries we invest in should produce measurable results. It’s the only way we will know we are having an impact. In relationship to the poor, this means that neighborhoods change, families stabilize, school systems improve, parks are safe, and local businesses emerge and prosper. Often these results are achieved through long-term laser-focused efforts not an occasional outing.
Lupton continues to push me to think in a more focused way about my own personal ministry, and the ministry of the church in general. Perhaps instead of spreading ourselves so thin, we should uncover our true calling and walk in it to the fullest.