Monday, April 17, 2006


A cell-based ministry like CTK is leader and labor-intensive. If we wanted to do it easier, we would organize ourselves in groups of hundreds, instead of tens. But we have chosen the effectiveness of community over the efficiency of crowds. This requires a follow-up commitment to organization. Small group ministry requires continual organizational development so that there is reasonable span-of-care, even with growing numbers of small group leaders. If it has been awhile since you are re-organized for growth, you might consider giving fresh leadership to each of the elements that comprise effective organization: people and procedures.


People with leadership and administrative talent must be identified, recruited, deployed, trained and supported to see that the right things are happening in your ministry. As a pastor you should have at least five Directors that you are developing:

Director of Worship
Director of Small Groups
Director of Childrens Ministries
Director of Youth Ministries
Director of Operations.

If any of these positions are unfilled, start by “getting the right people on the bus.” Begin now to pray that the Lord will send forth laborers into the harvest, make a list of prospects that may be God’s answer to that prayer, and take action to begin identifying, deploying, training and support new leaders in your ministry. Remember, as a pastor your job is not to do the ministry, but to see that the ministry gets done. Through much of my ministry I set aside one evening per week (when people would be home to talk) to work the phones and recruit new ministry directors and small group leaders.


It is a leader’s job to not only “get the right people on the bus” but to provide a context in which these people can be successful. We say that every leader’s job at CTK is to “create and sustain an environment whereby the people of CTK can execute their ministries with maximum fulfillment and minimum obstacles.” This usually involves providing some basic structure:

Job descriptions. What am I supposed to do?

Schedules. When am I supposed to be here?

Team rosters. Who else is on the team with me? What are their phone numbers? Is there any room for others to join us?

Organizational charts. How are we organized? Where am I at on the map? Who do I report to if I have a problem?

Procedures. How do we do things around here?

Meetings or contact points. When do we regularly touch base to share and care for each other?

Information loops. How do we keep everyone informed and in the know?

Many pastors prefer to work “in” the ministry, instead of “on” the ministry. Yet, if someone is not working “on” the ministry, over time things disintegrate to such a level that people can no longer express and enjoy their ministries. If it has been awhile since you tended to the organization, be sure to make this a priority soon. Every soldier has a right to competent command.

Every job has meaning when you connect it to the bigger picture. Dish washing can seem like a menial task until you remember how much it matters to the next person who will eat off that plate. Window washing is really about providing clear vision for people to see the world.

A critical role for a leader at CTK is to let people know how their contribution matters. Someone handing out programs is not just passing paper around, they are welcoming people to a new life. A children’s worker is not “taking care of kids” as much as they are facilitating an age-appropriate encounter with God.

When late night talk show host David Letterman returned after quintuple bypass surgery he brought the medical staff from the hospital onto the show. Lined across the stage were anesthesiologists, surgeons, and nurses. Letterman said, “These are the people who saved my life.” With that statement he brought into clear view that it’s not about reading gauges, making incisions, or emptying bed pans. It’s about people. And as long as we remember that, even the smallest task has meaning.

People need to find two things to have a meaningful experience at CTK:

Meaningful relationships

Meaningful responsibilities

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