Appropriate congregations using the NOW organizational model (¶252.2) and for small membership churches with one coordinator
Build a ministry team to address the concerns and conditions of people in the congregation and community so that people grow in their spiritual life and live as Christian disciples.
Work with other leaders to plan and implement ministries that help the church fulfill its mission.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for this position
Spiritual gifts: servanthood, faith, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, compassion, knowledge, helping, and administration.
Experience, skills: This leader must have a genuine interest in helping others deepen their relationship with God and with people. At the same time, this leader should be skilled in researching, planning, and implementing ministry. Leaders of nurture, outreach and witness ministries need to listen well and communicate with people of all ages in the congregation and community. They need to be able to build ministry teams, and work well with others—individually and in groups.
Responsibilities of the coordinator
- Maintain healthy and growing personal spiritual life and lead ministry teams to do the same.
- Lead ministry teams in biblical and theological reflection about the mission and purpose of the church so the plans and projects contribute to the purpose.
- Guide the work of the ministry groups during the year by planning the agendas and presiding at meetings.
- Support the leaders of project teams and leaders of on-going ministry by providing the tools and information they need and by helping them meet the timeline and goals they have set.
- Collaborate with the charge conference, pastor and other church leaders to further the ministry of the congregation.
Common Responsibilities of Nurture, Outreach and Witness Ministry Teams and Project Groups
- Understand the overall goals of the congregation and relate the goals to specific projects and programs so that the goals are extended into and beyond the congregation.
- To accomplish the goals of the congregation, short-term teams may form and disband throughout the year to implement specific ministries.
- Explore and build networks with existing organizations, people, and resources in the congregation and community to fulfill the mission of the church.
Focus of Nurture Ministries
These projects, studies and activities develop the congregation’s ministry of member care, worship, and educational experiences, including the church school, small groups, regular and special worship services, stewardship formation, and member visitation.
Focus of Outreach Ministries
These projects, studies and activities develop the congregation’s ministry of missions, health and welfare, Christian unity and interreligious concerns, church and society issues, religion and race, and status and role of women.
Focus of Witness Ministries
These projects, studies and activities develop the congregation’s ministry of helping all know and respond to the love of God in Christ through Wesleyan evangelistic outreach, setting goals for congregational growth, visitation, and membership care.
Where can I get help?
- Soon after leaders are elected or selected, convene the ministry team to get acquainted, share hopes and dreams for the ministry of your congregation, and plan your work for the year. Include Bible study and theological reflection to understand their work of discerning and articulating God’s will for your congregation.
- Develop a learning environment by inviting your team members to read and discuss a common book or having common experiences of training and mission.
- Meet regularly with the lead pastor to talk about the future direction of the congregation so that the meetings and work of the ministry teams supports the vision.
- Gather information about the needs of people in the community and the congregation and discern ways your congregations can meet needs. You do not need to duplicate ministry other congregations are already doing.
- Set aside time for personal spiritual practices which build your attentiveness to God’s will and direction for your leadership and your congregation. Daily management and administration can shift any leader’s attention away from the purpose of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
People and Agencies that can help
- Your pastor and lay people in your congregation who are interested in specific ministries.
- Consider ways people and businesses in your community can partner with the church to fulfill goals of reaching out and helping people in your community.
- InfoServ, infoserv.umc.org, answers questions and provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services.
- Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780
Web and Print
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2012
Charting a Course of Discipleship, revised edition by Teresa Gilbert, Patty Johansen, and Jay Regennitter, revised by Delia Halverson
Deepening Your Effectiveness by Dan Glover and Claudia Lavy; Available in Spanish Boga Mar Adentro
Does Your Church Have A Prayer? Participant book and Leader Guide by Marc Brown, Kathy Merry and John Briggs
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase (several resources)
Growing Compassionate Kids by Jan Johnson
Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: 2013-2016: Small Group Ministries
Interpreter magazine for church leaders – Available in Spanish
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Spiritual Leadership by Mike Bealla
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Mission and Vision by Carol Krau
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Leading Meetings by Betsey Heavner
What Every Leader Needs to Know About Leading in Prayer by Betsey Heavner