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Faith Encouragement

3 Key Questions to Ponder This Summer

CTA - Christ to All /May. 09, 2022
3 Key Questions to Ponder This Summer

By Kristin Schultz

What are your summer plans? Whether you’re looking forward to taking an out-of-town vacation, spending weekends at the lake, or just having fewer meetings, summer is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Summer can also be a time of reflection. It is one of the best times to step back and entertain the larger, more abstract ministry questions.

Getting a big-picture view of how God would use your ministry to spread the Gospel will help set the tone and vision for the upcoming year. Before you and your team sit down to plan the fall calendar, take time to ponder these three questions.

Question 1: What Does My Congregation Need?

While everyone is called to bring the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus, we must be mindful of those are already in our midst. Since the beginning of the pandemic, church attendance has sharply declined. By some estimates, one-third of regular church attendees have left the church permanently.

If the faces in your church have changed since the pandemic, summer is an opportune time to evaluate your ministries. Consider:

  • What should be your church’s discipleship focus? Is it time to go back to the theological basics? Are people struggling with life application in areas like parenting, mental health, or finances? Do you need to challenge them to take on more leadership or serve sacrificially?
  • What kind of programs would be useful? Are you serving more young families than you were before? Do you need to add or remove activities you’ve offered in the past? Are there more elderly people in your midst? Do they need new ways to participate?
  • What kind of pastoral care do people need? Are you equipped to provide adequate counseling and visitation?

Question 2: What Does My Community Need?

The Great Commission echoes loudly for those of us in ministry. We don’t serve our communities just to be nice; we serve to share Jesus’ love with those who don’t know him yet! It just so happens that involvement in our community is the best way to open doors for faith conversations.

Many communities offer services to citizens, but there are always gaps that your church can fill. Offering space in your facilities is one way to meet community needs. Personal interaction with those in need is a way your church can meet the relational needs of the forgotten.

Meeting a community need helps people know that your church doesn’t just meet on Sundays—you are the church that daily lives out the Gospel. Witnessing from a living, vibrant, and relevant faith is key to starting a conversation about Jesus.

Question 3: Who Am I Taking with Me?

In Luke 10, Jesus sends out seventy-two of his followers. But he didn’t send them as individuals, he sent them in pairs! Churchwork can be lonely work. It’s easy to become discouraged when events fall flat, budgets don’t balance, or volunteers don’t sign up. That’s why it’s so important to have partners in ministry.

Even if you have a cadre of staff and volunteers, choose one person to walk with this year. The person you choose may already be on staff but doesn’t have to be. In fact, it may be best to choose someone who has a heart for ministry that is not involved in day-to-day church operations.

The idea is to choose someone with whom you can regularly meet to discuss your ministry. Choose someone who supports you but isn’t afraid to question you. Prayerfully select someone who can help with tasks in a pinch but whose main responsibility is to act as moral support.

During this traditionally quiet time on the church calendar, take some time to consider big-picture questions. Ask the Lord to set your course as you plan for the fall. Prayerfully consider if God is calling you to new ministries that you haven’t considered before. Dig into what you’ve done in the past and discern if what you’ve always done still meets the needs of the people in your community.

Trust the Lord’s guidance and praise him for the call you’ve received to serve.

Kristin Schultz is a freelance author, has served in various church leadership roles, and is a pastor's wife.

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