One Way to Improve Church Health

Recently, we asked Clint Mix, CBOQ’s Director of Congregational Health, “What is the one thing we need to be doing to become a healthier family of churches?” Here’s what he had to say:

“The one thing I believe would bring about the greatest change is to shift the role of pastor at a local church level. What if we moved our pastors from doing mission for us and ministry to us to training us for mission and for ministry?

I’m convinced that some of our very best pastors are ones you’ll never hear about. They’re hidden back a layer or two within their church and are always putting others into the spotlight. “Look at what she’s doing!” “See how he’s using the gifts God gave him!” Their driving focus is on training, equipping and sending those around them to be part of the mission of God on the front lines. Whenever I talk with a search committee, I say, “you’ve got to find someone who empowers.”

The capacity to empower grows in those who genuinely believe that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) We are to count ourselves as dead every day. It’s not about my agenda or getting recognition. Our ego is sidelined. It’s less about what I’m doing for the church and more about what we’re doing together, how the church as a whole is moving forward.

Sometimes our churches stagnate because we limit mission and ministry to what one person can do. If pastors are able to recast their role as releasing the giftedness of others, and the congregation steps up in response, our churches will bloom.”

11 thoughts on “One Way to Improve Church Health”

  1. I read recently that the difference between a dictator and a leader is this: A dictator sayd, “Go!” while a leader says, “Let’s go!”

    I believe an effective pastor does missions AND equips his congregation to do missions. He’s got to be on the frontlines as well as behind the scenes.

    Ann-Margret, Temple Baptist, Montreal

    1. You’re right on Phil, I totally agree with you. When we were in the search process, we had our greatest participation. The link is right on too.

  2. Absolutely I Agree with Clint. Our pastors should be training us, the congregants, to be on Mission and to Minister.

  3. The words of Paul shine through in Ephesians 4: 11 to 16. If as pastors, we take seriously our roles as described, then the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, is vital to the spiritual health of the body. In my role as pastor, it is my responsibility to recognize gifts of the Spirit within the congregation and encourage people to use those gifts for the common good of all. During the past year, I have endeavoured to use people in the services and the response has been very encouraging. I now have people who were ready to leave, a year ago, who are coming into membership and stepping up to serve in some capacity. The good spirit within the church is evident to those who come in as visitors and guests, and they feel very welcome here. We are beginning to move ahead with various gatherings and when we sought people to fill the offices and positions within the church for the coming year, the response was a thing of joy. We are slowly moving from a dormant state to become an active congregation. Our deacons board has four new members this year and I look forward to working with them in the ministry. God is blessing us with more new members this year and the focus has become reaching others with the good news of the gospel.

  4. I agree with Ann-Margret from Montreal. An affective pastor leads by example and I am blessed that the Lord sent our Pastor Tom to us. He humbly leads us in worship with what the Lord has taught him and encourages us as we minister to others.

  5. Exactly what we are endeavoring to do at our two churches. You must be willing to release them when it becomes clear how God is using them. Its in the release that we often fall down in our churches. It is so much more comfortable to keep that talented and willing crowd at home for home use. It is difficult at times to lay hands upon them, pray, and send ’em out. We must be willing to be diminished that we may see an increase.

  6. I appreciate this article. I have been in churches where I as the pastor was expected to do almost everything, from cleaning and property management to singing and preaching on Sunday. Recently I came to a unique situation for me. For seven previous years the church I pastor now had a part-time pastor. In that time either the people themselves, or the pastor realized the need for more people to take ministry roles. Today our congregation is like a colony of ants; everybody has a job to do and they work hard at it.
    Maybe some churches who are still expecting the pastor do everything should go without a full-time pastor for awhile and learn to do some of the ministry themselves. It would be a tremendous blessing to the next pastor who comes their way.

  7. Pastors should teach the congregation to minister. At least the ones that have that aptitude and are willing. The old saying “Use them or loose them is still true.” As a retired pastor I know how it feels to sit in the congregation week after week and the multiple staff does it all. Around me there are several others that are perfectly capable of taking some part in the ministry. Some have already left to places where their talent is used. I do believe that it will exalt the Lord as the talents He has given are used.

  8. This piece is timely for this particular season in our church – our pastor has recently returned from Uganda with a new vision and is imparting same to our fellowship. We have been a very weak praying church and his call to corporate prayer has been met with excitement by some and scepticism by others. I am certain many in the pews will be left behind as the Lord begins to call us to gather on our knees together and seek His will and way to reach the mission field right outside our door.

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