Many churches in the western world have an infatuation with creating committees. There are committees for nominating people to be on the other committees. There are committees that decide what kind of flowers go in the sanctuary. Committees, committees, committees…
While none of these are necessarily bad in and of themselves, the “committee problem” has become more and more prevalent over time and needs to addressed. What we need in the western church is more ministries and less committees.
Now, you may be wondering, what’s the difference? For me to truly show you the difference, I want to use some specific examples. **These examples are not all inclusive nor are they accurate all the time when describing something** It’s just what I’ve seen over time at several different churches when having discussions with church members.
- Nominating Committee vs. Nominating Ministry: A nominating committee focuses on filling positions. They select people, sometimes with no prior experience or evidence of commitment to serve. A nominating ministry prays over whoever they select. They look for people that have been committed to coming to church and serving Christ. They look for opportunities to disciple people who have been placed in positions. And, when they can’t find someone to fill a position, they realize that God may very well be calling the church to not have that ministry because He hasn’t given them the person to do it.
- AudioVisual Committee vs. AudioVisual Ministry: An AV committee has a set list of people running the sound, projectors, cameras, or lights. It focuses on getting the task done and may make a recording of the service, but that is it. An AV ministry looks for ways to share the gospel. They realize that they are not just focused on getting a task done. The members know that they are an intricate part of leading worship, just as much so as those on the stage. They make recordings of services, but do it with the intention of reaching people and evangelizing to them. Maybe in the DVD to a shut-in, they also place a picture drawn by a child to give to them. They are focused on outward reach, not inward focus.
- Personnel Committee vs. Personnel Ministry: A Personnel Committee is focused on evaluating staff and looking at the “business” aspects of the church—— although you will never find that in the bible…They look to make changes or add when necessary, but it almost comes back from a worldly point of view. A Personnel Ministry looks to bless their staff. They pray for the staff. They look to take care of the staff. When something comes up that needs to be addressed, they talk to the staff members and encourage them as much as possible.
I could go on and on, but I think it truly comes down this:
-Committees are inward focused. They talk about doing things that never get done. They try to make decisions based on worldly perceptions. They come with personal preferences and make decisions that have to do with those particular desires.
-Ministries are outward focused. Every decision they make is looking at how to glorify Jesus Christ. They desire to reach the lost and, instead of coming into a situation with their personal preferences, they look to work together and maintain unity with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
There are plenty of ministries with the titles “committees.” Many churches do use their teams properly and look for ministry opportunities, but so many times it becomes less and less about Christ and more and more about pleasing a self-interest.
I’m convinced that the church will begin to change when we go from being “committee minded” and become “ministry minded.”