Involvement, Spiritual Gifts for Christian Ministry
- Involvement in Church Ministry, General
- Spiritual Gifts in Church Ministry, Comprehensive Systems
- Spiritual Gifts in Church Ministry, Small-Group Systems
- Practical, Motivational Literature on Spiritual Gifts in Church Ministry, Involvement
- Related Ministry Resources
Universal to all understandings of church ministry is the belief that disciples should steward their spiritual gifts to forward the mission of God and build up the body of Christ, and that leaders must equip people for this. This is referred to in various says, depending on one’s perspective.
Most of the material on this subject adopts terms like “member involvement,” “ministry equipping,” “gift-based ministry,” etc. Not all are comfortable with these expressions. Some avoid the use of impersonal corporate language such as “membership” and “assimilation,” and prefer terms such as stewarding, missional lifestyle, or discipleship as an integral part of belonging to missional communities. Also, many who lead smaller churches prefer language that elevates the sense of family, and often must address the reality that without the critical mass of larger churches, the emphasis cannot be on gift discovery, but on making sure enough people are unselfishly attentive to the functions of the church. Nonetheless, most of the resources below contain insights that may be usefully adapted to a variety of needs or orientations.
Involvement through the exercise of one’s spiritual gifts in church ministries is closely related to other ministry resources on Greeting and New Member Integration, Managing Volunteers, Ministry Teams, Spiritual Gifts and Missional Lifestyle, Discipleship, and Spirituality.
Follow the links to the ministry resources below for more detailed summaries. See also the list at page bottom referencing other ministry resources.
Involvement in Church Ministry, General
- Scott Thumma and Warren Bird, The Other 80 Percent: Turning Your Church’s Spectators into Active Participants (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) – Designed to reverse the principle where 80 percent of ministry in church is done by 20 percent of the people. The base of this book is research on the actual path members take toward involvement in church ministry.
- Bill Hybels, FirstServe, Living Beyond Myself: Launching a Volunteer Revolution, Willow Creek Resources – An elementary, first-step, non-threatening approach that encourages people to serve one time in a specific church ministry and then evaluate the experience.
- Edward H. Hammett, The Gathered and Scattered Church: Equipping Believers for the 21st Century, Second Edition — Addresses how the church must reframe itself in missional terms, i.e. the church is in a secular culture and must be equipped (gathered) to move outside its walls (scattered) into ministry in the weekday world.
Spiritual Gifts in Church Ministry
- Sue Mallory, The Equipping Church: Serving Together to Transform Lives — A comprehensive approach to mobilize church members into effective gift-based teams, based on extensive research from Leadership Network.
Other Helpful Volumes:
- Bruce Bugbee, Don Cousins, and Wendy Seidman, Network, Willow Creek Community Church – A six-session dynamic program to help Christians understand who God has uniquely made them to be and mobilize them to a place of meaningful service in the local church.
- Dr. Paul Ford, Mobilizing Spiritual Gifts Series, ChurchSmart Resources — A comprehensive system that helps leaders steward their own identity and help their members do the same by shifting from an “I” culture to a “We” culture.
- Bill Hull, T-Net Disciple-Making Churches — Though not necessarily gift-based, this is a comprehensive process used by over 1,200 churches internationally to bring people to maturity in Christ. One of the most intentional processes of congregational maturation.
- Jay McSwain, P.L.A.C.E. Ministries — A comprehensive ministry system using a five-step discovery process: personality, learning spiritual gifts, abilities, connecting, and experiences.
- Eric Rees and Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Ministries, S.H.A.P.E. – S.H.A.P.E. stands for spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences. A comprehensive set of tools designed to help members understand and express their S.H.A.P.E. in some form of meaningful ministry, and to help church leaders facilitate this process for their congregations.
- Christian A. Schwarz, Three Colors of Ministry, ChurchSmart Resources — Expresses the “gift-oriented ministry” aspect of Natural Church Development (NCD), tying the “colors” of ministry to the character traits of the persons of the Trinity.
- Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson, Connect: How to Double Your Number of Volunteers – Lays out four clear steps for creating an effective ministry system.
Small Group Systems (with extensive leader materials):
- William J. Carter, Each One a Minister: Using God’s Gifts for Ministry – A spiritual formation model based on a six-session study of Ephesians.
- Dan R. Dick and Barbara Miller Dick, Equipped for Every Good Work: Building a Gifts-Based Church — A unique and helpful group study that integrates spiritual formation, gifts discovery, and ministry.
- Kenneth Haugk, Ph.D., Spiritual Growth Through Spiritual Gifts, Stephen Ministries — A group study based on eight 90-minute sessions.
- John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, and Judson Poling, Gifts: The Joy of Serving God — Designed to increase participants hunger to be used by God.
Practical, Motivational Literature on Spiritual Gifts in Church Ministry, Involvement:
- Michael J. Christensen, Carl E. Savage, ed., Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry – A collection of articles by leading authors on how ministerial leadership can move the people of God from baptism to the full flow of ministry.
- Bill Easum, Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers: Ministry Anytime, Anywhere, By Anyone — This was Easum’s first attempt at describing permission-giving, servant-empowering, team-based congregational ministry systems.
- Gary L. McIntosh, The Exodus Principle: A 5-Part Strategy to Free Your People For Ministry – Presents a five-fold strategy that takes the church through designing, preparing, communicating, practicing, and equipping a “culture of service” within the church.
- Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – This best-seller provides an interesting look at what “drives” people to want to make a difference.
- Melvin J. Steinbron, The Lay-Driven Church: How to Empower People in Your Church to Share the Tasks of Ministry — Discusses how to shape a church culture to be needs-conscious, gift-oriented, egalitarian, ministry-balanced, biblical, mobilized, and failure-resistant.
Related Ministry Resources
See Other Resources on Spiritual Gifts and Involvement in Church Ministry:
- Greeting and New Member Integration
- Managing Volunteers
- Congregational Ministry Teams
- Spiritual Gifts
See Ministry Resources on Over 100 Areas of ChristianLeadership: