Monday, August 4, 2014

Ministry Principles

I wrote the following lists of ministry principles about twenty years ago for the Church Manual of the New Covenant Church of God.

Principles of Ministry Development

*The church belongs to Jesus Christ and he desires to give direction to the ministries of the church through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

*The chief responsibility of the church is not to carry out pre-packaged programs but to jointly discover and fulfill the will of God. 

*The holy Scriptures clearly reveal God's will for the church but each congregation must discover and live out that will in its own setting.

*All believers are to be joined to the church and in the context of the church they are to discover the will of God for their lives and "work out their salvation with fear and trembling."

*Every member of the church is a voice through whom God can speak to make his will known to the congregation and therefore must be heard with discernment.

*All members of the church must work together to plan and carry out the ministries of the church.

*The primary tasks of the pastor and elders in ministry development are to (1) instruct the congregation in the truths of God's Word, (2) hold the congregation accountable for living according to God's Word, (3) "perfect the saints for works of service" by preparing them to serve others through their individual talents, (4) release the members of the church to fulfill the ministries God has called them to, and (5) oversee the entire process so that all work together for the glory of God.

Principles of Decision Making Within the Church

*All decisions are spiritual in nature and should be preceeded by prayer.

*All decisions are personal and corporate.  They will affect people in the church locally and universally.  Therefore, their impact on persons and programs should be considered.

*All decisions are theological and should be made in dialogue with the beliefs and traditions of the church.  They must be made with a focus on knowing and doing the will of God. 

*Decisions should be made by the persons directly affected by them. Direction should emerge from the persons responsible for the ministry, the workers.

*Decisions directly affecting the church as a whole should be submitted to the church  in conference for approval.

*It is the responsibility of the pastor and elders of the church to oversee all ministries and assure decisions within the church are made in harmony with the Scriptures, church tradition, denominational polity, and other programs of the church.

*The central questions to be asked are: (1) is this in harmony with the known will of God?, (2) will it contribute to the mission of the church?, (3) is this in harmony with the mission statement and other established beliefs and programs of the church?, (4) will this make our shared ministry more effective, (5) will this place an undue burden on people?

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