Ministry Outcomes

I’ve been thinking about education/preparation for ministry, and posted here and on Facebook about that topic recently. (Hat tip to Zuzanna Low, for several awesome suggestions for this list.)

Here is a list of the outcomes (skills, knowledge, and character traits) that I have generated.  I think these things are all essential for a thriving ministry.  Tell me what I’ve overlooked, what I’m missing, etc.

Necessary skills–ministers must be able to:

  • Write and deliver excellent sermons and/or lessons.
  • Assess effectiveness / maturity
    • Assess the needs of a community / congregation.
    • Assess the spiritual maturity of individual believers (I like the model from DiscipleShift).
    • Act and lead strategically on the basis of the assessment.
  • Build strategic relationships with community leaders outside their church
  • Work with volunteers and paid staff
  • Work with people from different groups/denominations toward common goals
  • Articulate expectations to workers that they are leading
  • Criticize workers’ efforts positively and constructively
  • Lead by serving and inspiring, not by intimidating
  • Lead by investing in the success of those they lead
  • Recruit and train volunteers
  • Plan events, manage resources, facilities, etc.
  • Deal constructively with antagonistic people
  • Mentor and shepherd (disciplemaking)

Necessary character–ministers must be people who:

  • Possess humility
  • Are open to new ideas and phenomena (not habitually negative about every idea that doesn’t come from them); Rohr, The Naked Now, would say, “begin with ‘yes’, look for truth, THEN make value judgments”
  • Are motivated by grace (not guilt or ego), and in turn motivate others by grace
  • Look to build the Kingdom, not kingdoms
  • Partner with other leaders instead of competing
  • Build leaders without being threatened by their protege’s successes
  • Hunger for unity, “regard others as more important than yourselves” (Phil 2.3)
  • Are optimistic, expecting God to move and do great things
  • Draw their identity from their acceptance in Christ (not earthly status, material wealth, honor or praise)
  • Are generous in spirit
  • Are judicious over when to fight and when to be gracious or accomodating (2 Tim 2.14, “Warn them against quarreling about words.”)
  • Are willing to risk being transparent, yet wise enough to do it in appropriate ways and appropriate settings for appropriate purposes

Necessary knowledge–ministers should know:

  • How to use biblical texts in responsible, audience-appropriate, helpful ways in church settings:
    • Sermons and lessons
    • Counseling
    • Corporate worship and personal devotions
    • This presupposes a functional knowledge of the Bible and its contents, but it is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge, it’s knowledge with a purpose.
      • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2.15)
  • How to build generosity
  • How to network with community leaders outside their church

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