Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Auditions Are Not Just For The Band

They might not call them "auditions", but every ministry team in our church has a process/system in place to literally give people an audition for ministry. Our Kids Church Team, our First Impressions Team, our Hospitality Team, our Youth Team...every single team has an audition of some kind to allow people to determine if their ministry is a good fit.

There are a few great reasons why your church should also have an audition process/system for everyone who wants to get involved in serving, but it all boils down to one thing...people.

People should be our priority. Beyond bringing glory to God (worshiping Him in everything we do) our number one priority should be people. The church isn't a's people. Our mission isn't to do good's to invest spiritually in people (what the Bible calls "making disciples"). We serve in ministry because of people, we reach out in missions because of people, we learn to love like Jesus loved because of people. If you can't agree with this point, don't bother reading further.

So, if our priority is people (or perhaps more defined, helping people grow as followers of Christ), then our priority in ministry must be to help people find the specific ministry(s) that God has uniquely gifted them for. At Nags Head Church, we believe that God has given each of our partners a unique SHAPE to serve the church as well as or better than anyone else in the church.

S - Spiritual Gifts. God has supernaturally given every believer at least one (often more) spiritual gift to use in serving the body of Christ. Read 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.
H - Heart. God has given every believer a heart (or passion) for specific things. Music, children, food, cleanliness, education, art, etc. He wants us to use our passions to serve Him because He knows ministry is fun when we're doing something we love.
A - Abilities. God has created each of us with natural abilities, whether we're good with our hands, good with our heads, or a jack of all trades. He wants us to use those natural abilities to serve others.
P - Personality. God has given each person a unique personality. He wants us to find ways to use our personalities, whether outgoing or quiet, to make a difference in the lives of others.
E - Experience. Every believer's life is full of unique experiences, both good and bad, all orchestrated by God. He wants us to serve in areas of ministry that will allow us to use those experiences to relate to and help others better understand Who He is.

Once people understand how God has SHAPEd them, they can then begin to explore which ministries in the church might be a great fit for their unique gifts. Unfortunately, too many churches simply check for a pulse before plugging the latest ministry hole with the next available warm body. As a result, too many people walk away from serving altogether because they got "stuck" doing something they either didn't enjoy or were told they were not doing well, simply because those of us in charge don't use just a little bit of wisdom to create a process/system for bringing them slowly into a ministry position.

You can't run before you walk, and you can't walk before you crawl. Just step outside the walls of your church building and look around...every successful restaurant, every successful gas station, every successful business of any kind in your town is almost certain to understand this principle and to have a system in place for bringing on new team members (employees). I'm not saying operate your church exactly like the night club down the street, but there are some organizational truths that are universal and can easily be adapted by the church. Yet, again, too many churches believe that auditions of any kind for any ministry don't have any place in their church.

But, by giving people a process for joining a team, you communicate a few important things to the people you lead:

1) "We care more about you than we do about filling a hole in ministry."

2) "We do care about excellence in ministry."

3) "We are OK with the fact that this might not be the right ministry for you, and we're willing to let you audition with other ministries to help you find the right fit."

By taking the time to properly explain what the ministry is all about, give people a chance to observe the ministry behind the scenes, and train people how to do the ministry correctly, you're putting people first, raising the bar of excellence, and giving people an easy out should the ministry not be a good fit.

Bottom line...God has called us to be good stewards of ever resource He has given to us, starting with the people we are leading. Give God your best by desiring the best for those you lead.



The Nut said...

Loved reading this! Honestly something I never ever thought about, but it makes sense! And, everyone benefits from it! I will be sharing this with a ministry leader here in EC who just came to me for advice and wants me to do some observing! Thank you because this is a great starting point!!!

CFHusband said...

Great to hear from you Jessie!

Neetz said...

Hi there, fantastic post which is so close to my heart!

I've had some time out from the worship team as I have been so ultra-busy of late, but have been approached to get back in there and to head up the team. I was reading another worship-related blog and found yours which looks fab, so I hope you don't mind that I'm going to "follow" you now. (almost sounds biblical lol).

It's great to check out whats happening in other churches around the world, I look forward to reading more from you :)

Juanita (Neetz)
Worship Leader in New Zealand :)