Defining Your Ministry Area of Influence (pt. 1) - Why It's Important
As I entered Bible college I thought I had my calling all figured out--youth ministry. But as I continued to grow my sense of calling grew as well. God wasn't just calling me to youth minsitry. There was more.
Part way through Bible college as I transistioned out of youth ministry and into children's minsistry, my calling became more clear... but not yet complete.
As I faithfully volunteered in a church plant, my calling began to crystallize. The previous areas of youth and children's ministry combined with ministry to their parents into a family ministry role. My current role of Community Life Pastor has combined all the previous areas and added community groups and discipleship groups to the mix. I now see that discipleship, in all its various forms, is my current area of influence.
While I'm ok with my ministry as it is (mostly because I think I've just about got my head wrapped around my current position), I'm no longer foolish enough to believe I've got God's call on my life completely figured out. I'll leave that to God, because He's obviously not done with me yet.
Do you know your area of influence within the church? Do you know why it's important? This series of posts will start to answer some of the most basic but important questions.
But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. (2 Corinthians 10:13 ESV, emphasis added)
Here are 4 ways you can begin to understand your area of influence:
By understanding the unique passions God has given you.
God has not given us the same passions, just the same mission; to make disciples. How we do that, where we do that, and to whom we do that to is unique. This takes time to discover what that looks like.
By knowing the ways God has uniquely gifted you.
Just like with passions, God has not gifted us all the same and that’s a good thing. Your gifts and how you utilize them are unique. Not only does this take time, this usually involves some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don't be surprised if God's vision for you is bigger than yours. His plans are always better.
By faithfully using those gifts and passions where God has you for the good of others.
Understanding our gifts and passions is one thing, being intentional with their use is quite another. It’s only through use that we see growth; first in ourselves and then in others. Sometimes finding out where not to serve is almost as important as where to serve. God's plans always require that we rely on His strength and wisdom ... if we want to remain faithful and be fruitful.
By finishing where God has placed you.
I’m not saying where you are currently serving is where you will always be (not that it would be a bad thing), rather I’m warning you not to leave until the job is done. Just because the grass looks greener somewhere else, doesn’t mean it is. Jumping ship too early can be destructive; and may be downright sinful. Sometimes God has us wait.
As we more clearly understand our area of influence, the more effective we will be for both the good of our local church, and the glory of God's kingdom.