Are you empowering others to be the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Christ?
In the times when I feel like it ‘all depends on me,’ I’m essentially believing that I can play every part of the body of Christ. But what does it look like to let the church be the church? I’m guessing the issue isn’t that we don’t believe there are people who can help (within the church), but more that we’re too afraid (and perhaps too proud) to ask for that help. So, how are you growing your team? How are you sharing the vision of the ministry with the rest of your congregation? How are needs being shared beyond just your ear?
Are you networking with the resources in your community?
Beyond the assets of the church, we are each surrounded by a community that has schools, lawyers, disability offices, advocates, therapists, experts, etc. How are you networking with these folks? Because, while you might not have the personal capacity to coach someone through setting up a trust-fund, I’ll bet you can find someone (who is very qualified) who can. Having names, phone numbers, and locations of resources in our communities is an invaluable asset to have!
Do you have a clear, essential vision and purpose for your ministry?
There is the possibility that you’ve not articulated the purpose or vision of your ministry; in which case, you find yourself saying “yes” to just about everything. The reality is this: there are hundreds of good things you can do through your ministry. The real question is: what are you focusing on to be the 1 or 2 most essential things you are called to do? It’s not that the other hundred things are bad (or that you’ll never say ‘yes’ to them), but there’s wisdom and greater effectiveness in focus. For our ministry, we’ve articulated 2 main things we want to do: we want to facilitate the (1) discipleship and the (2) belonging of individuals with developmental disabilities at our church. This doesn’t mean we never do things that are focused on family support, outreach, etc. However, we have the filter/lens of asking “how will this contribute to the spiritual growth (and even salvation) of a person with developmental disabilities?” and “how will this foster deeper relationships with other congregants in the church?” The more you can clarify the purpose of your ministry, the better you’ll be able to say “yes,” “no,” or “no, but…”
It’s OK to not have all the answers. It’s OK that you have limits. It’s OK if you or the ministry you lead cannot be all things for all people. You’re not the savior; and even the Savior took time away to be with the Father so He could break through the noise and carry out the true mission He was sent to complete. Follow His lead!
Vinnie Adams is the Reflectors Special Needs Ministry Director and Campus Worship Leader at Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana. he and his wife, Kate, currently live in Crown Point, Indiana with their sons, Jakob (4) and Josiah (1).