Your load is heavy.

You didn’t mean to say, “Yes,” to too many things, but somehow you have managed to compile a list of ministry to-dos that resembles your grocery list at Thanksgiving time. Each item on the list is critical and irreplaceable.

It’s wonderful to be available to God’s calling in your life, but does He really call us to fill up our schedule with too much ministry? I think we all know the clear answer to this question is, No. Consider the following Bible verse…

Colossians 1:15 “And he is the head of the body, the church.”

If Christ is the head of the church, and we are the rest of his body, then that means we each have a unique function. An ear must be available to hear. A leg must function to help the body walk. What if the ear was busy listening, but also trying to flex its muscles to walk? The body wouldn’t hear as well, and it wasn’t made to walk, so it would be wasting its time.

Consider your own calling in your church plant. What specific role are you meant to fulfill? What if you decided to focus on this calling?

If you choose to focus, this doesn’t mean you’re not going to help out in any other area. In our churches we suggest people choose one ministry they are called to, and one ministry they can help out with. Rarely have I found someone called to stack chairs. This is one of those type of tasks we all pitch in to make happen.

If the previous reasoning resonates with you, then what do you do about your too-long to-do list? Consider the following suggestions to lighten your ministry load.

  1. Write down everything you are doing, including how much time each task requires.

    You might be shocked at the amount of time you are spending on church-related tasks. Decide which ministries are the ones you would like to keep, and which ones you could pass on to another part of the body.

  2. Pray for help.

    God is the head of the body. He will provide. He is the brains of your church, and he knows who is meant to fill the extra positions you have ended up filling.

  3. Start looking at members of your church in a different light.

    See the people who are serving with you the way Christ sees them. Shine a spotlight on their strengths and gifts, and help them serve, too.

  4. Make the ask.

    Ask other church members to become leaders, not just volunteers. Of course they can start out as volunteers, but the moment you see a kernel of leadership potential in the people, start entrusting them with more. Help them to understand their own gifts and potential.

  5. Train them.

    If you don’t want to end up in the same position you are in right now, you will need to be intentional about passing off a ministry. Give the new leader the tools you have been using, and help them see how they have tools, too. Make sure they understand how to keep things simple. Simple is critical in starting new structures. Play the role of cowboy, rounding up others to help out.

  6. Check in with them.

    Once they are leading, check in with them to see how it’s going. It’s a terrible to be left alone, feeling like you’re the only one who now cares about the ministry you lead. Just like our body works together, so should we.

Dear Jesus,

We confess that sometimes we take on too much. Please help us to activate the whole body of Christ so we can function well. We love you, and trust you know how to help us shorten our ministry to-do lists.


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