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November 8, 2016

4 Types of People to Mobilize

By Michael Kelsey

You need more volunteers.

So do I. That’s why our staff set out to get as many people as possible connected to the various ministry needs in our church. We printed signs and set up lobby tables. We had social media slogans and even recorded compelling video testimonies of our ministry leaders. And then, in my office one afternoon, I sensed the Lord asking me “But have you prayed?”

Have you taken time to think about the people who are attending but not yet involved? And have you fervently prayed with them in mind? Below are four types of people in your church and ways for you and your leaders to pray for their mobilization.

#1 – The Consumer

People tend to see the church primarily in terms of what they can get out of it. That means most Christians who regularly attend a church worship service don’t consistently (much less sacrificially!) serve in their local church.

Pray for God to give them a desire to serve in your church.

In Philippians 4:4-8, Paul teaches us what the heart of a servant should look like. And yet, how could we ever get consumeristic Christians to prioritize the interests of others in the church? Thankfully, as Paul reminds believers in Philippi, “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 4:13).

Pray for them to understand that the church is built up as each member does its part.

Take a minute to read Eph. 4:15-16. There is a radical spiritual unity that exists between believers in Christ, so much so that our spiritual growth is bound up together. We all grow as we all serve.

#2 – The “No Idea Where to Start” Attender

There are people in your church who want to serve but they don’t know how their gifts and skills can contribute to the work of the church.

Pray for the Lord to show them how he has wired them to serve.

God has equipped every believer to serve in and through the church in some way (1 Peter 4:10).

Pray for them to find fulfilling friendships as they serve on a team.

Most people will find their greatest joy serving alongside people they [are at least growing to] know and love. Paul modeled this in his own ministry as he expressed his affection for the believers with whom he partnered in ministry. In fact, he prays that the Lord would cause believers to “increase and abound in love for one another” (1 Thess. 3:12).

#3 – The Underutilized Leader

There are people with years of helpful professional experience and academic training who can carry the mission of the church forward. Many of them have they have a strong leadership gift but don’t see a compelling role for them in the church.

Pray for them to become burdened by significant areas of need that overlap with their skills and expertise.

Nehemiah was a man positioned by God to leverage his skills and influence for Kingdom purposes. And yet it took a visible need and divine burden to compel him to get directly involved (Nehemiah 1).

Pray for God to help you train and deploy leaders skilled in disciple-making and pastoral care.

You and your church need men and women to help shoulder the responsibility of caring for and equipping your members. With 1 Peter 5:2-3 in mind, ask the Lord to raise up elders and other disciple-makers who will help your church members grow to be more like Jesus.

#4 – The Faithful Volunteer

Often, we can be so focused on the need for more workers that we lose sight of the people who are already faithfully serving alongside us. These are the twenty percent of people doing eighty percent of the work in the church.

Pray for God to reenergize them in their service.

These men and women are small group leaders, children’s workers, greeters, musicians, and maybe even all of the above! Don’t forget that just like you, can sometimes become tired and discouraged, so can they. Pray for God to enable them to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord [their] labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Pray for God to enable ministry leaders to multiply themselves by identifying and developing other potential leaders.

Jesus directed his disciples to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Matt. 9:37-38). How does the Lord send out those laborers? He does so primarily through the training and disciple-making efforts of the local church. You need other leaders in your church to have that same laborer-developing and laborer-sending vision for your church.

**Michael Kelsey is one of our faculty members in our upcoming course for campus pastors: Essential Campus Pastoring. Watch newchurches.com/courses as we will be releasing this soon!


Michael Kelsey

Mike Kelsey (@mikekelsey) is from the D.C. Metropolitan Area and is pastor of McLean Bible Church’s Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, MD. Born into a strong lineage of Washington, D.C. pastors that includes both his father and grandfather, Mike grew up with a strong foundation in the Gospel and by God’s grace, he fully surrendered himself to Christ as a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Political Culture in 2004, Mike went into full-time ministry with the Luis Palau Association, helping organize evangelistic festivals in major U.S. cities and eventually accepted the call to join the pastoral staff at McLean Bible Church in 2007. He has a passion to advance the Gospel in multiethnic contexts and longs to see the emerging generation invest their lives for the glory of God. He is married to his college sweetheart, Ashley, and they have two young children, Ava and Michael, III.


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