We’ve previously stressed how job descriptions should reflect the need for people to do what they do out of God’s power, not through their own strength and abilities. While carefully constructing the wording helps, we need to actually be pulling on that power throughout the whole process of using ministry descriptions — in writing them to the different ways we use them. The need for prayer cannot be overemphasized, even in the use of job descriptions, not only as a means of tapping into God’s power but also because prayer itself is “powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Pray in the Writing of the Job Description
Do you want to make sure the ministries in your church are the right ones, accomplished in ways that please Him? Then pray God gives you the wisdom and understanding to put down on paper that which He will use, the ministry through which He will work to accomplish His will.
Do you want job descriptions to be an effective tool? Then pray God helps you write them in such a way that He will work through them to communicate His desires to people, that they aren’t just something you’ve thrown together but rather anointed by Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)
Pray when Using Job Descriptions to Recruit
Do you want the right people for a specific ministry? Then pray God convinces people if it is right for them. No matter how well you’ve written the ministry description and no matter how skillfully you use it in recruiting people, ultimately it needs to be God working in people’s lives “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).
While a job description can be an effective tool to use in the recruitment process, that is all it is — a tool. Jesus didn’t use written job descriptions when He recruited the twelve disciples but He did pray (Lk. 6:12-13). Jesus did, however, verbally describe the ministry He had for them quite simply — follow Me and I will make you fishers of men (Matt. 4:19). Their power source was right there with them — the Almighty in the flesh. When He ascended back to heaven, Jesus made it clear they still needed a Helper. Our task, then is to make it clear that people we recruit need His power as well. How we incorporate prayer, even while using a job description, is one way we do that.
Pray with people but also ask them to take time to pray over the job description to make sure it is what God would have them to do. God is powerful enough to change hearts even when their initial reaction to the ministry description seems to be negative. He doesn’t need us to coerce people.
Pray when Using Job Descriptions for Training or Staff Evaluation
Do you want to equip and spur people on to minister effectively? Merely pointing to what they should be doing on their job descriptions isn’t enough. Suggesting they set goals and develop a self-enrichment plan isn’t enough. Job descriptions can be an effective tool for training and staff evaluations, but prayer is most critical as they need God’s power to be at work both in and through them.
God’s power is what enables us. — With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. (Eph. 3:16)
God’s power is what changes us. — Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
God’s power is what gives us the inner fortitude to persevere. — I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being (Eph. 3:16)
Notice the role of prayer in each of the above verses for God to work in these ways. Job descriptions born out of prayer can provide a standard against which to measure ministry and to learn what type of support is needed but they are mere tools. Praying for and with people helps keep the focus on God as the power source to do it.