Lead222 Blog part 3

Building “Authentic Community” into your Ministry

Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  Many ministry leaders will model this verse personally, and perhaps even expand it into their church.  But at that point, they stop. As far as they can see, they have authentic community surrounding them, but they fail to see a bigger scope. Meanwhile their ministry as a whole is disconnected from the greater Christian faith community of the city in which they live.

A mature ministry leader will seek to build authentic community beyond their church walls. They realize that barring major theological hurdles, they likely have much in common with other ministries and leaders.   This doesn’t mean leaders all have to be very best friends who sit around and sing “Kumbaya.” Yet, why shouldn’t they be connected, friendly, helpful, and encouraging of each other, particularly if they have the same primary goals of building the kingdom of God?  Eating lunch or having coffee together for one hour, once a month, could help bring about a great deal of authenticity and encouragement within a community of ministry leaders.

Think about this for a second.  Are there 1 or more churches less than 5 or 10 miles from yours, that actively proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Their denomination, size of their congregation, style of worship, or other variables might be different than what you are used too.  But they worship the same God.  Meanwhile they shop in the same grocery stores, have teens in the same high-schools, and drive on the same streets as you.   It’s easy to come up with reasons their should be unity within the body, but to practically make it happen is going to take relationships.

Whenever I can, I encourage youth leaders to register a personal profile at http://www.youthworkers.net , and get into a local network of other Christian youth leaders.  If there isn’t one already going nearby, hopefully they can help start one by reaching out to others.  If your ministry is going to be authentic within your community, the body of Christ needs authentic leaders who are willing to see the bigger picture.



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