I have conversations on a regular basis with pastors and other church leaders where the following question comes into play. Whether asked directly or implied through frustration and despair this question is paramount in our society of declining churches. “Why are our ministries not producing spiritual fruit?” In most cases, other questions are being asked when indeed this is the sole question behind the majority.
The unique gifting of God’s people drives fruitful ministry when the organizational structure does not hinder the Holy Spirit’s usage of God’s people and their giftings. Many of our churches have a similar structure as they have had for decades. Where this becomes a ball and chain holding the church (people) back is when the structure does not allow a person to grow and utilize his/her spiritual gifts, natural abilities, and talents as God designed.
Instead of strapping people with the bureaucracy of structure, we should welcome new biblically relevant ministry concepts. It is natural to have some guidelines. Guidelines are healthy within any organization. However, when guidelines become restraining devices, God’s design is squelched, not by the people, but by the structure within the church. One excellent guideline should be; as long as this new ministry idea lies within the passion and giftedness of our people as gifted by God.
The unique gifting of God’s people drives fruitful ministry when tradition does not hinder the Holy Spirit’s usage of God’s people and their giftings. In many of our churches, we allow “The way we’ve always done it” to rule what we attempt to accomplish for God. There are some good traditions. However, many of the traditions we adhere to in our churches prohibit people from using their gifting from God.
When only one person is allowed to play a particular instrument, one type of music, a set time is the only time we can have worship or Bible study, we have allowed tradition to overrule God’s gifting of His saints. Tradition can be anything we do for three weeks consecutively. It is easy to fall into the rut of tradition and completely miss out on the blessings of God’s giftedness on His people.
People will serve out of their passion and giftedness as long as tradition and organizational structure do not place barriers to utilizing God’s giftedness. God has gifted each of us uniquely compels us to utilize all of those giftings in fulfilling The Great Commission. The unique gifting of God’s people drives fruitful ministry.
Take time today to contemplate what needs to be addressed in your church and in your life to remove the barriers and let people feel the freedom of serving God through their giftings? You might say, “We already do that. We encourage them, but they will not serve.” If that is your first thought, you are likely not experiencing spiritual fruit and your church likely still has an issue with organizational structure or tradition or both. Certainly, these are not the only two factors hindering spiritual fruitfulness, but in all my conversations with pastors and others concerning this issue, one or both of these come into play. What will you do personally to activate your own spiritual giftings to serve God more effectively in 2021 than in past years, producing His Spiritual fruit?