Friday, November 26, 2010

A Different Set of Questions for Pastors

This is a blog posted from my old youth pastor, and current head pastor, at Summit Church in Simpsonville SC. Jason Malone is a not only a extremely Kingdom minded individual, but also someone I consider my friend.... which is a cool thing to experience from someone I've known since I was in middle school.

Let me know you're thoughts... This is pretty simple yet insightful.

Many pastors in the United States gauge whether or not they are doing a good job of leading their church by asking 3 questions:

  1. How many people are attending our worship service?
  2. Are we meeting or exceeding budget?
  3. Are people happy with me?

While it is tempting to let these questions define us as leaders (many of us find our worth and value in how big our church is), we know that what is asked of us according to Ephesians 4 is to equip our people to do the work of the ministry. How do we know we are equipping our people towards spiritual formation and thus ministry? One way is to ask.

This past September we had the people of Summit fill out an 80 question survey during a Sunday morning worship service in regards to their spiritual formation. What we discovered was very interesting and challenging:

  1. The men and women of Summit Church who are serving inside or outside of our church were sharing their faith with 3 times as many people as those not serving.
  2. The men and women of Summit Church who were involved in the small groups of our church were sharing their faith with 2.5 times as many people as those not in a small group.
  3. The men and women of Summit Church had the opportunity to be see over 230 people whom they had relationships with accept Christ in the past 12 months.
  4. The men and women of Summit Church let us know in order of importance what shaped them spiritually:
    a. Serving in some capacity
    b. Being involved in a small group of biblical community
    c. Pursuing God themselves through the Word
    d. Sunday morning worship service

It’s amazing what most of us as pastors spend the majority of our time getting ready for every week, Sunday morning, is least critical when it comes to the spiritual formation of our people. Maybe we need to start asking a different set of questions if we really do believe that God is on a mission of redemption in our world.

1 comment:

Timothy Cyphers said...

This is what I have actually been thinking about a LOT lately. I have read through the spiritual gifts list a couple of times and I am sure that "pew sitting" is NOT one of them. YET a lot of "Christians" think that this is all they need to do to secure their spot in heaven or to fulfill their obligations, or maybe just to put on a show.

It is really frustrating to me as a minister, these statistics because I really believe they reign true for most church's. It NOT enough to just come to church and go through the motions of Sunday morning, Sunday night, or Wednesday night service. But unfortunately thats where most people's Christianity begins and ends.

Their lives are unaffected, and unchanged.

I have found from personal experience that most of my spiritual growth has come from serving or being apart of a small group/bible study, studying the Word (just as this posting suggests).

I tell my students/church that you cannot just take my word for it, I am not that smart..but to get into the Word for themselves, because its then and only then will they hear God speaking to them through His Word.

Good stuff Tim. Very insightful.