Leader to Leader

Are You Qualified?

October 31, 2016 | Posted by Billy Brath

Ever look at your responsibilities and think, “There is no way I’m qualified for this!?” Good. On our own we’re never qualified for our vocational callings, God qualifies us! By His blessings and guidance we push on, serving and fulfilling our calls.

My challenge is this: hire/engage leaders who on paper aren’t qualified according to our standards. Before we start making excuses, let’s explore for a moment the state of some of our ministries:

  • Worship engagement is down.
  • Volunteer leadership is waning (or only includes the regular volunteers).
  • We seem to be missing an entire generation in our congregations (i.e., millennials).

In conjunction with many of the great ideas presented in this blog that LCEF hosts for us to address these issues, let me add this thought: Engage young people in ministry leadership. Maybe they aren’t qualified yet. Maybe they will make mistakes. Maybe you’ll need to support and assign more training sessions, but engage them now.

I’m pastor of a church on a university campus with a congregation made up of only college students and some local 20s. My counting team is comprised of finance students. My altar guild’s average age is 20. So you could say I have to engage young people in leadership! The lesson was really learned via my congregational president: Tyler. He’s 21 now, a full time student, an intern with the local MLS team, involved in various campus organizations, and finds the time to serve as my president faithfully. I know that, through this experience, he and other students will continue to be a blessing to churches for decades to come.

A few tangibles for a more general ministry context, I hope one connects:

  • Have a professional elected as your treasurer? Lift up a 20-year-old finance student to do the job with them.
  • Have a hired business manager? Hire a recent college graduate to learn and eventually take over.
  • Set up PowerPoint for weekly worship? Send it out to any student with a computer!
  • Look at your board of directors for your ministry or congregation. Appoint someone in their 20s who lives a life far different than the rest.
  • Elders and worship assistants? I bet a high school student would benefit greatly from being included. (I did!)

There’s no one solution to the issues facing all that we do in ministry, except for the return of Jesus, so let’s keep the ideas flowing. But for today, pause, assess and appoint/hire/call/lift up someone like yourself to serve in ministry – that is, someone who is only qualified because of their Lord who works through them.

Billy Brath
Billy Brath serves as Director, Ministry Support Advancement, of Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Helping leaders and ministries revive their sense of purpose and reach their creative potential is a great joy for Billy.