I have worked in full-time ministry for going on two years now. I have recently come to the conclusion that it’s time to get rid of church members. I had this epiphany as my team, a Starbucks manager, and the principal of an impoverished elementary school were meeting to talk about our upcoming endeavors. As we visited, the manager made reference to the role of Starbucks partners. When I asked for clarification, she stated that partner is the new term used to refer to a Starbucks employee. This just further confirms for me how ingenious Starbucks is. It now refers to every individual who makes our coffee experience amazing as partner. Though this is a subtle shift, I believe it will have lasting results.
It’s time for us to get rid of our church members and make them our ministry partners. When we empower the people who walk through our doors to be partners, it increases their sense of commitment and ownership. I consistently meet volunteers who feel the need to be frequently reminded of the importance of their contribution. Allowing the Church to be our ministry partners reinforces the importance of everyone’s contribution to the mission. Personally, I have several memberships – to clubs, gyms, organizations, Netflix – in which I ask the question, “How can you benefit me?” I have only a few partnerships in which I ask the question, “What can we do daily together to achieve our desired mission?” Read the definitions below, and then ask yourself this question: Do we need to get rid of church members and begin to develop ministry partners?
member – a person, animal, plant group, etc., that is part of a society, party, community, taxon, or other body.
partner – a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor; associate; a husband or a wife; spouse.
Ministries around the country are evolving, changing, becoming more relevant; it’s now time get rid of the dated idea of having church members and instead develop ministry partners. What Do you think, share your thoughts!
Scott Williams is a speaker, strategist, consultant and developer of leaders. He is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com, and leverages Social Media to make a Kingdom impact. Scott is passionate about leadership development, organizational growth, and diversity. He is the author of “Church Diversity – Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week.” Scott is married, a father of two, and lives in Oklahoma City, OK.