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  1. My dad and I just had this conversation in reverse: sometimes people training outside the church and capable leaders are “only allowed” to do non-threating tasks assigned by pastors or the board. (We were talking about a church where the pastor shut down one music group after another if they looked “successful” and only allows worship teams he sanctions – untrained musicians, while those with experience and training sit in the pews.) Sigh.

    I think it’s a both-way empowerment by pastor-teachers called to release members to ministry. The church needs to affirm the gifting and calling of its members in the community of faith and secular opportunities.

    • Kim says:

      Excellent! And you are so right! Thanks! Note my next post on power…very much along these lines.

    • Rhoda says:

      I have seen this so often. And, experienced more times than I can count. I have ministerial degree, over 20 years of experience in a variety of settings, including the military, non-profits, churches, and corporate. I am almost done with a Master’s in Educational Leadership – and cannot find a place to lead, minister, or even connect in my church. There doesn’t seem to be a place for a single, divorced mom of my age. Especially, one who comes out of another church experience. And, this has been true for every church I have attended forever. If I wanted to work in the nursery, sing on a worship team, make coffee or hand out bulletins there would be a place for me. Those things are not my calling – so where do I fit?

      How many talented people is the church turning off or turning away because they can’t get past their own ideas of what “leadership” looks like? And, I wonder, is it fear or is it ignorance that makes their world view so small?

      • Kim says:

        The Resignation of Eve was about this very point as it relates to women, but I have been pondering lately if our 20/80 problem has more to do with our description and validation of certain “ministries” over others. When the purpose is to build the church (inwardly), then only 20% can fit into the ministry model. What if we reversed our focus of ministry, and made those who minister every day at a secular job those we were supporting – would we invalidate the Sunday school workers, or would we bring value to all of our lives?

        • Rhoda says:

          I was thinking about this very thing today while watching a video on “M”. I agree that the 80% should be the focus and that each believers life should be characterized by ministry within their realm of influence. The video today said that church leadership is missing out by not recruiting and utilizing their membership at each individuals point of strength. There tends to be a prescribed rite of passage for each new member that they seem to have to walk through before they get a chance to minister in their chosen field or area of passion. How much better and more engaging would our product be if we actually let artists create art, musicians create music, CFO’s do our budgeting, and so on so forth? Instead everyone seems to have to go the coffee, greeter, usher, nursery route before they get the chance to do in the church what they do everyday. Furthermore, if the CFO is involved doing what she does everyday in our church body how might that impact the way she does her job Monday through Friday? Integrating people into the church at their point of strength will cause them to better integrate the church into their daily lives.

          • Kim says:

            Preach it! I think we need to realize that we are an empowerment vehicle.