Never Do Ministry Alone

I began attending Granger in 1993, about a year before I joined the staff. I remember noticing a strange phenomenon on Sunday mornings. A bunch of us would arrive early to set up all the equipment for the services. The first few weeks that i participated, I remember thinking that it seemed rather inefficient. I thought the setup could be done a lot more quickly with fewer people. Sometimes too many people can get in the way.

That's when I first heard one of Granger's values: Never do ministry alone. Always do ministry in teams. Even when it doesn't make sense, do ministry in teams. It took me a while to buy into that philosophy. I though of a bunch of reasons it was better to do it by myself:

  1. It's Easier
  2. It's faster
  3. It takes more work to include others
  4. If there is someone with me, I'm obligated to talk to that person, find out about him or her. If I'm by myself, I can just get the job done.
  5. I feel more needed if I'm the only one who knows how to do it. And who doesn't like to feel needed? It's kind of nice when I can stand out because no one else is trained to do my job (even if it is just setting up the coffeepots). 

You recognize the fallacy in my thinking, don't you? This chapter isn't new information to anyone. We all know the principle of doing ministry in teams, but how many of us really practice it? I want to challenge you to scrutinize your leadership. Do you do ministry alone? Consider your team. Do people on your team believe it's part of their jobs to find someone to do their tasks with them?

Our job isn't only about performing tasks. It's not only about getting things done. It is to equip people for ministry and to teach and mentor them to become balanced followers of Christ. 

When you always have someone with you in ministry, you accomplish so much! You give someone else an opportunity to serve. You build a relationship with an individual, and you make room for real ministry to happen "life-on-life." You make sure that the ministry doesn't rely only on you. You model true mentoring. You communicate that you are secure in your leadership and don't need a role to define you.

So let me challenge you with these questions:

  • Do you answer the phones? Don't do it alone.
  • Do you copy coloring sheets for the kids? Don't do it alone.
  • Do you empty the trash or clean the bathrooms? Take someone with you.
  • Do you run a sound board, camera, or video equipment? Show others how they can do it.
  • Are you a teacher? Start working with someone as a team-teacher.
  • Do you hand out bulletins or greet guests at the front door? Invite someone to join you.
  • Do you lead a team? Find an apprentice leader who can take your place. 
  • Do you serve on the hospital visitation team? Take someone with you.

I think you get the point. Never do ministry alone.

This post is an excerpt from Chapter 38 of my book "Simply Strategic Volunteers."

Tim StevensComment