Sunday, October 29, 2006

Do Ministry of Purpose

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog on The Principles of Our Youth Ministry. The first principal that I wrote down was that we "Do Ministry On Purpose."

There are many churches and people that "do ministry." There is a huge difference in doing ministry "on purpose."

I first learned this principle when I read about Saddleback and Rick Warren. Saddleback was one of the first proponents of a "The Purpose-Driven Church."

Pastor Warren writes in his book, "Strong churches are built on purpose! By focusing equally on all five of the New Testament purposes of the church, your church will develop the healthy balance that makes lasting growth possible."

Probably one of the best books I have read on youth ministry which I account to much of the growth we have had was "Purpose Driven Youth Ministry" by Doug Fields. This book is one of the books that has developed our ministry "DNA."

Drawing on two scriptures, "The Great Commission" and "The Great Commandment" Pastor Warren developed what he believed were the five purposes of a church. Even coining the phrase, "A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Church." The five purposes are evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship. Much could be written on these purposes and I will try to bring them out in greater detail in further blogs. I will also show how our planning process, which is another great component of our ministry, is tied into fulfilling those purposes.

As we sat down and developed the purpose of our youth ministry we looked at crafting a purpose or mission statement that embodied those five purposes. For us it came down to merging the vision of our church into those purposes. Our youth ministry, Elevate, has the following mission statement: "We exist to RAISE up teens to REACH the world RESTORING them to SERVE others and OFFER their lives to God.

RAISE - Discipleship
REACH - Evangelism
RESTORE - Fellowship
SERVE - Ministry
OFFER - Worship

These five purposes have helped us to have a balanced approach to our ministry. They keep us on a biblical track and allow us to build a healthy ministry. Too often youth ministries and churches implement programs and events that don't truly further the growth of their church. They will even blame God to an extent saying that "God just hasn't called them to be a large church." (Too that extent I'm not saying God has called us to that either as their are many models out there of successful churches.) Anyone that reads those two scriptures though has to agree that God has called us to more and it is time to make sure we are "purposeful" about what we are doing.

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