“Developing a Philosophy of Ministry You Will Actually Use”

I.     Why we need a Philosophy of Ministry (POM)
Most of us do ministry like Barney Fife... you have a one bullet POM. Barney Fife was the deputy from the Andy Griffith show who only carried one bullet... in his shirt pocket.  What is your bullet?
ü  The bullet of “Wait till they here me preach!”
ü  The bullet of “Look what we can do!
ü  The bullet of ……..
 “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on.” ~ Walter J. Lippmann
“People are more easily led than driven.”
 ~ David Harold Fink
“A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops,
while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.”
~ General of the Armies John J. Pershing
II.     What is a Philosophy of Ministry?
A Philosophy of Ministry is the distinct mix of personality, aspirations, vision, ministry values, styles, and strategies embraced and used to accomplish the church’s mission/purpose in its unique cultural context. (Tim Keller, Aubrey Malphers, Steve Childers, Bob Orner)
 A.  Scripture - Bedrock
ü  "God has spoken in the Bible and He has not stuttered" (J.I. Packer).
ü  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

B.  Mission – Foundation
1)     Your Foundational Purpose, What we are called to do.
2)     A mission statement is:
ü  A broad, brief, biblical statement of why your church exists – it’s purpose.
ü  It is the primary goal of why the church exists in the community.
2)     The Mission Statement is how you will communicate the vision.  
3)     It speaks to Head and brings clarity.
4)     It answers three fundamental questions:
ü  Who are we here to serve?
ü  What are their greatest needs?
ü  How is our church going to meet those needs

 C.  Priorities: Foundation
1)     The Ministry of Worship & Prayer
2)     The Ministry of Learning & Edification
3)     The Ministry of Fellowship & Community
4)     The Ministry of Outreach & Evangelism
5)     The Ministry of Mercy & Social Concern 
Tim Keller -Evangelism: Equipping Believers in Mission and Outreach, Version 2, 1998
D.  Vision – Roof
Vision is the dream of what the future looks like if God does His thing through us.
    1)     It asks:
ü  “What are we seeking to do?”
ü  “What are our aspirations?”
2)     It looks to the Horizon.
3)     It is more heart than head.

“If we are to think strategically and not incrementally,
it is imperative that we manage backward from the future,
not forward from our past." ~ Aubrey Malphurs
“Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
 ~ Muriel Strode

 To get a Solid Vision we must:
     1)     Have a realistic understanding of yourself.
       2)     Be a student of the Context.
       3)     Include your Leaders.

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself,
or to get all the credit for doing it”. ~ Andrew Carnegie
 The difference between vision
 and hallucination is action” ~ Allen Patmarajah.

E.  Core Values –Base of the Wall.
Core values are the unique underlying motivations and convictions that drive behavior and ministry activity.
1)     Values are our guiding or governing principles, our ground rules or boundaries.
2)     Values are important because:
ü  Determine organizational distinctives
ü  Communicate what is important
ü  Create right decisions
ü  Influences behavior
ü  Inspires action
ü  Enhances leadership credibility
ü  Influence mission and vision
2)     Core values must be linked to the purposes 
ü  Worship & Prayer
ü  Learning & Edification
ü  Fellowship & Community
ü  Outreach & Evangelism
ü  Mercy & Social Service
3)     Core values are unique for each ministry context
F.   Culture/Context – Wall
     Though I am only offering a brief overview of context, this one of the most neglected and misunderstood aspects of a a philosophy of ministry.  As you can see from this blog, this is very important to me.  Here three broad areas to keep in mind contest and culture.
1)     Context of target area
ü  Demographics
ü  Cultural Values 
ü  Reached/Unreached
2)     Planter/Pastor
     3)     Leaders in the Church
G. Style - Wall
Style asks the question “How does THIS church do gospel ministry in its unique cultural context?”
1)     Worship Styles
ü  Liturgical
ü  Modern (alternative, blues)
ü  Traditional
ü  Contemporary (80’s)
ü  Ancient/Modern
ü  Other
2)     Learning & Communication Styles
ü  Analytical/Cognitive
ü  Concrete/Relational
ü  Intuitive/Experiential
3)     Leadership Style
ü  Consensus/Democratic
ü  Elder led
ü  Pastor led
ü  Intense or laid back
4)     Internal Organizational Style
ü  Small home groups
ü  Under-shepherd communities
ü  Multiple worship services
ü  Multiple congregations
5)     Outreach/Acts of Mercy (Front Door, Side Door?)

H. Strategies - Door
1)     Strategy lies on top of everything else.
2)     Both inside and outside realities are taken into factor
3)     Some required areas of Strategy are:
ü  Networking
ü  Prayer
ü  Evangelism
ü  Discipleship
ü  Worship/Preaching
ü  Personal/Spiritual life
ü  Fundraising
ü  Team Development 

“The task of the leader is to get his people
from where they are to where they have not been.” ~ Henry Kissinger
“The first responsibility of a leader is
to define reality.” ~ Max DePree, The Art of Leadership

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