Monday, February 7, 2011

Your Church Staff

“The gifts he gave were… to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith… to maturity, …to the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Your church staff works diligently to implement the scripture above, so that each and every member and friend of our church can reach the full maturity of faith in Christ. But from time to time we all need reminding of how to do that in our local setting. That’s why we recently created a new Staff Mission Statement to more accurately communicate to others (and remind ourselves) of our “reason for being”: “To glorify God together by Empowering and Encouraging East Cobb UMC members and leaders to be God’s Church in our world.”

Let me unpack several phrases to help us all see what this means for each and every church member and friend:

To Glorify God means that we view our work not primarily as a “job” that has set hours and boundaries, but first and foremost as a “calling” and as a “ministry” that gives us opportunities to glorify God through what we do. It means that we will be responsible to attend to our own spiritual walk with God, and that the ministry of “glorifying God” will at times be more important than individual tasks we may do. It means we will work to identify our own spiritual gifts, passions and abilities, and will place a priority on cultivating and developing these.

Together refers to “teamwork” — it means we believe our calling and ministry can best be achieved as we work together as a “team,” rather than merely as a collection of individuals who happen to work in the same organization.

Empowering refers to equipping, training, educating and commissioning others with the spiritual authority to act

Encouraging refers to affirming other leaders/members in their work, helping them to embrace a “teachable spirit” (a willingness to grow/improve), and helping them to critically evaluate progress towards specific goals

To be God’s Church means that we believe that our church’s members and leaders (not just “staff”) are “God’s Church.” It refers to the fact that we are “God’s” church, not “our” church (hence God’s plans and visions need to take priority over our own self selfish wants)

In the World means we are to be “God’s Church” not merely within the walls of our building, but within our local and world community — it refers to the fact that if we expect church members and leaders to do ministry “outside the walls,” then we as staff must do this, as well.

Our prayer is that as we work to carry out our mission as God’s church, we’ll all remember these as we partner together – staff and members, guests and friends, clergy and laity -- to be the church of Jesus Christ in our community and world. Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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