The Practicals of Ministry
The first time I led a Bible study discussion I talked way too much. I mean way too much. A group of ten college gals, mostly freshmen, crowded into my living room, sitting on the couches we’d found with “free” signs down the road. They were ready to dive in and study the Bible. Though they started off chatty, little did they know, they had a sermon coming.
The questions I created for our time were more like prompts for my monologue and could only have been answered if they were mind-readers. While we were supposed to be walking through the book of Colossians, we ended up in at least 5 other books. At the end the gals responded with smiles and questions and were gracious enough to come back. While I asked them application questions, the main application I had secretly hoped for was their belief that I knew what I was talking about. What a bust!
Nuts and Bolts Decisions of Ministry
Taking time to find the answers to questions of how we plan our ministries enables us to present good content in a helpful way.
There are a lot of things that I would do differently now that I have learned through training and experience. My Bible interpretation was “on point,” as some college friends have taught me to say. Yet, there were a lot of practical decisions that affected the people I was serving. This is true not only for Bible study, but for all of ministry. Taking time to find the answers to questions of how we plan our ministries enables us to present good content in a helpful way.
For Bible Study: What makes a good Bible study? How do we organize it? What are the principles that should undergird everything we do? Maybe even: What are the terrible practices we should stay far away from?
For children’s ministry: How do we teach children? What makes a lesson good or bad? It was a success if they all survived, right?
For Discipleship: How do I read the Bible with my friend? Is there a wrong way to do this? Where do we start? And what happens if things go horribly awry?
We can answer those questions in many ways. Pragmatism: what’s the greatest need? Trendy: what’s new and exciting? Or sometimes it’s just what falls together while still keeping all the balls in the air.
But there is a better way: principles that matter. And that is what we’ll be talking about together at Verity Forum to make sure our foundation remains squarely on Christ and his Word.
Principles that Matter
There are principles that change the way we minister. One such principle I would learn years after that freshman Bible study would be the prominence of helping my sisters see Jesus as great and me as someone just like them. That would have changed a lot about how I led them.
Beyond our motives, there are more principles. Principles regarding what we teach and what we don’t. Principles regarding what we believe about truth. Principles regarding what we believe about the work of the Spirit among us. Principles regarding how we ask questions. Is there a Jesus-centered way to read the Bible with a friend? Yes, there is. It influences your attitude, your questions, and your focus.
Trends Can Be Troubling
We need to be discerning and wise.
One reason we keep talking about ministry practices and principles that undergird our choices is because there are lots of ideas that float through the waves of ministry trendiness. We need to be discerning and wise. Sometimes new concepts and resources are a great help. Other times they’re as helpful as those cheap, blister-giving heels. They’re fun for a day, but the consequences endure. And you wish you’d listened to your wise friend who told you to avoid them.
Let’s talk together about the Jesus-centered practicals of ministry. We’ll hear about how organize, lead, teach, and maintain a women’s Bible study. We’ll have a session on the details of children’s ministry. More, we’ll talk about one to one discipleship and how to start.
This is one track of Verity Forum you’ll walk away from with foundations and ideas to implement in the specific areas the Lord has you working.
The Verity Forum is our day of workshops on January 14th, 2017. Read more about our event and register today.