One of the inadvertent effects of scheduling people for ministry in the church is that it doesn’t often leave time for people to “go” and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). We can also schedule so many meetings or programs for people to attend that they have little time for the “go” part of the Great Commission.
Intentionally Leave Room in Your Scheduling for People to “Go” and Fulfill the Great Commission
As leaders this means we must be deliberate in what we schedule and how much we schedule people to serve. We need to be very intentional in how we schedule within the church so people aren’t so busy inside the church to reach out to their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. When the church calendar is so full and you are putting too many expectations on people to serve within the church or attend programs, people will get to the point where they are less and less fulfilling the Great Commission to “go” and make disciples. They can get so exhausted in their church work that they are too tired for ministry elsewhere.
For some people, we may need to free them up from some of their “in church” responsibilities to be able to “go.”
For others who are not scheduled for much ministry in the church and also aren’t doing much in terms of going and making disciples, perhaps we need to help them learn to be more purposeful and intentional.
We need a missional perspective in scheduling that encourages people, rather than dissuade them from reaching out to the world around them. By that I do not mean the sending of people into the foreign mission field but rather scheduling so as to leave room for them to fulfill the Great Commission right where they are in their everyday living. In addition to being careful in how much we schedule, a missional perspective will be evidenced by …
- how you define ministry
All of life, both within and outside of the church, should be seen as opportunity for ministry. Over-scheduling within the church could give the impression that only what happens within the walls of the church building is ministry. People could get to feeling judged if they focus more on “going” and making disciples than serving within the church walls.
- how you encourage, support, and train people as they “go” and make disciples
You can say you want people to “go” and make disciples and even guard against over-scheduling so it can happen, but if you don’t provide the same kind of support as you do for serving within the church, people still may not do it. A missional perspective in scheduling needs to be backed up with other actions to have the desired effect.