The image of a pastor carrying a bag of tools and walking to his new pastoral assignment has stayed in my mind since I got the vision of a ministry toolkit in 1992.
Of course, pastors have been trained and assumed to be ready to preach, organise and lead the worship-services, do pastoral care, conduct special ceremonies for funerals, dedications, anniversaries, weddings and other pastoral matters.
How about the management of the institutional or organisational side of the church?
When I was a pastor in my 20s, fresh from the seminary, some of the questions that came to me when I was called to work in a 60-year-old congregation were:
- What should I do first?
- How will I lead the church leaders and members to appreciate and participate actively in the ministry?
- What planning method works effectively for the church?
If you’re a pastor or a church leader reading this blog, what were your questions when you were starting your pastoral or ministry assignment?
How confident were you?
Like me and others, were you grappling for resources to use, researching and studying what would be the best tool to apply on your new pastorate?
The need for a toolkit
If the doctor uses standard instruments in his practice (e.g. stethoscope), then what are the pastor’s standard tools to use in ministry?
Or if the auto mechanic has some effective tools for checking the car engine, what does the pastor have?
Maybe some would say the usual ready answer: the Bible, commentaries, and dictionaries, and other related kinds of literature.
Let me ask you this, “Have you ever seen the doctor using his medical book in examining a patient or have you seen an auto mechanic holding his “How to repair” book to check your car?
Of course, the doctor and the auto mechanic have their toolkits with them.
Have you encountered a ministry toolkit that functions like the diagnostic tools that a GP or a mechanic uses?
Regardless of who comes to see the doctor, young and old, Kiwi or non-Kiwi, he uses the same tools.
The same is true with the mechanic. Well, he might have some specific tools for a specific car model but the basic tools are the same for every car.
That’s the Ministry Appreciation and Participation Toolkit.
Yes, it’s a toolkit that a pastor or a ministry leader carries and uses it on his ministry assignment just like the image above.
IMAGE DESIGN: Barbi Larkins Art & Design