In a post from 2014, I wrote about a ministry provided by the church where I had served several years prior. We called the ministry Discovery Dinner. I guess you could say it was my brainchild, but it was far greater than I could have planned or implemented. Our first Discovery Dinner had fourteen guests not currently active in any church. Six months later we had realized an addition of 26 – 28 people to our active membership from that first dinner. That is an unparalleled 200 percent return.
While not every Discovery Dinner produced that well when we shut them down some two-plus years later, they were still fruit-producing ministry endeavors. One of the major keys to the success of Discovery Dinners was gift oriented, passion-driven ministry. True servanthood through gift oriented, passion-driven ministry will always be a key to fruitful outcomes.
In this case, I dreamed the dream and shared it with the staff. We molded and shaped it to best for our church membership and their giftings. Then I sat down with my administrative assistant and share the vision of this ministry with her. She knocked this one out of the park. Not that she did it herself, she too had help. She caught the vision, realized what was needed, and sat out recruiting. We had a couple in the church who loved to cook – and they were very good cooks. They cooked everything from scratch, no mixes, no restaurant supply ready-made meats or dishes. To this day it is hard for me to find Prime Rib like Steve cooked. Others would say the same about the hand made chicken cordon-bleu or other dishes he made. And Edie’s desserts and salads were impeccable.
But that was only the kitchen. LeeAnn, my assistant recruited florists and others to decorate and design the room turning our “fellowship hall” into a five-star dining room. When you walked in, well, remarkable is the only word that comes to mind. Some members of the church were to be conversationalists around the table. Some brought guests for the dinner. Other age groups of members were recruited to be servers for the evening all dressed in black pants or skirts and white shirts or blouses. Some were recruited to provide childcare for children of members and guests.
It was truly a top in class evening for everyone. The key to success was the diversity of people involved in servanthood. Each one, recruited to use his/her giftings and passions. I can’t give you exact numbers, but I’d say we had thirty to forty-five church members engaged in each Discovery Dinner. Each one recruited for his/her giftings and passions to serve.
That was the best outreach event I’ve ever been connected with. Yet, I have never tried to implement them at any other church I’ve served or worked with in any capacity. Some people ask, “Why not?” Simple, that was the right ministry for the people in that church at that time in history. God utilized the giftings and passion of the members to accomplish His purpose and grow His kingdom. The church realized an average increase of just over ten (10) percent every year for several year even after God led me away. The growth was not because of Discovery Dinners, but because the staff had built a culture of servanthood through gift-oriented, passion driven ministry.
Please contact me for more information on gift-oriented, passion driven ministry.