Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Using or Building People?

I read the following statement on Gary Lamb's blog this morning:

As a Pastor "there is a constant battle between using people to build the church vs. using the church to build people."

Without a doubt God uses people to build His church. People sowing their lives into the local church to make a difference in the world is a beautiful thing. Communal service and self sacrifice is the life blood of the church. As part of the church part of our responsibility is to minister in that church. As I heard recently saved people serve people.

Usually in most churches there is a serving deficit. More people required than willing to serve. We need stewards, kids workers, camera men, car park attendants, computer operators, lighting operators, video mixers, PA technicians, singers, musicians. The list goes on and that's just to make the Sunday services happen. And church is so much more than that.

The tension that Gary mentions then becomes very real to many church leaders. We need and want bigger churches so we need even more people serving. All too often it is then possible for people to be used rather than built.

This comes front and centre for me when people say that they now want to stop serving in a particular ministry. How we treat people in that moment and after will tell us if we have been using people or building people.

If using, then we tend to write people off, pay less attention to them, decide that they have missed it it some way. As though them stopping serving or even just questioning you was some sort of open rebellion against your leadership.

If building people, we look to release, understand why, support through difficult or testing times, help them find a more fulfilling expression of service or even help them find another church that they could find a ministry that they are passionate about and send them there.

In the end none of us will connect to and stay in a place where we are USED but we will crawl over broken glass to be BUILT UP.

Lets all concentrate on BUILDING PEOPLE.


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