I’ve been looking forward to writing on this topic for some time now, but have only now gotten around to actually sitting down and taking the time to organize my thoughts for this particular post.
The Idea of ministry management has become a major sticking point for me as I’ve come to believe that ministry can and should work a whole lot better in the engagement of the members of any particular congregation. Congregations, for the most part, have come to take on the idea that individuality saves the day. However, what I really wanted to do was simply create a working model that could be used as a possible framework for training and development purposes.
So, A Framework?
Well, I continue to feel like the best way to understand anything is to actually learn by doing, and since I couldn’t go out and become minister of an actually congregation, or lead a brotherhood, I figure the next best thing has to be trying to work on building a systematic model of what a brotherhood would look like, with congregations of various backgrounds and standings. I wanted to build something that was both easily understandable, yet at the same time was built with a sense of reality, that a user could imagine being at any particular congregation within the brotherhood.
In developing my faux brotherhood, I took into consideration a few things that I felt were necessary elements in building something that was feasibly understandable. Looking for ways to make this whole project manageable in the long run, I set in place some parameters for my brotherhood.
- The local brotherhood could have no more than 15 congregations – I actually came in under the allocation of 15 congregations (13), leaving two out for future purposes. I chose the number 15 as a limit because I didn’t want the entire process to become so expansive as to limit functionality. In a very large local brotherhood with every congregation having fully developed, active ministries, I just felt that planning, even fake planning, would become a task too major to handle effectively.
- I would stick to realistic numbers for the brotherhood – You aren’t going to typically find a brotherhood with massive attendance numbers, so I really wanted to stick to the reality of the actual brotherhood numbers. In writing The Music Ministry Guide, I did a lot of research on the brotherhood-at-large and realized that the total brotherhood is not as large as I thought, and so, my planning reflects that.
- Financial Numbers should reflect actual trends – I built my own scale using financial data that I found at various congregations. Basically, I looked at membership numbers and total giving, and built a simple formula for individual member giving per week and then simply expanded it forward for an entire year.
Now, all of this really is extensive when you understand the actually scope and focus of this research and modeling, and that is simply to develop a single congregation model. I wanted to develop a single congregation for training and development purposes, but when I began building the framework for Griffin Lake church of Christ, I quickly realized that a congregation can’t stand alone, and must therefore be a part of a larger brotherhood. The more I thought about it, the more the reality of an entire brotherhood being built looked feasible.
Now that I have a simple framework to build the rest of my model on, I’ve looked to start planning out the rest of the project. I figure to begin working on the rest of the project immediately.