I’ve been reflecting on a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with David Kerrigan, (Hannah’s uncle and General Director of BMS World Mission) about the need for large churches to reflect on the need to empower and send members of their congregation to others.
As I work at Tonbridge Baptist Church I’m privileged to work in one of the biggest Baptist churches in the United Kingdom. Our biggest spend, when we put staffing costs against our different ministry areas, is on mission, closely followed, if I’ve remembered rightly by children’s and youth work. So, in one sense we’re pretty good at releasing people. But I’m becoming increasingly passionate about encouraging, empowering and releasing people to serve using their gifts and talents and passions.
Last term in our youth work we ran the Network course by Willowcreek. It is very American and very adult driven, but I would do it again, just adapting it more heavily. We tried doing it as part of our Sunday evening teaching for 14-18 year olds – in one sense that was great, we had good turnout with lots of young people interacting with the course, but the disadvantage was it felt very course like, we had to try to fit the individual reflective elements into our group time due to high pressures at school.
When doing it again I would cancel older youth cells for 6 weeks and run it mid-week, there-by still allowing the bible teaching to carry on, and gaining more leaders to support the young people and answer questions as we go, by involving the cell leaders. We will also be continuing to develop the follow-up by creating ministry links: having an adult in each ministry area who we can link young people with who want to serve in that particular area.
I’ve blogged on our ideas about young people and mission elsewhere, and will write further on those when we see more progress.
Craig Groeschel wrote on this topic:
I got excited about a new measurement of success. Instead of “defining the win” by how many people we brought in, what if success was measured by how many people we sent out?
How do you encourage and develop this concept of sending and empowering?