“One particular member of our congregation, Michael, is fantastic. He does so much work around here. I don’t know what we would do without him. He often preaches and sometimes takes on worship leading as well. If anyone is unwell, or hasn’t been at church for a while, he’s the first one to check in with them on the phone or by visiting. We used to have more preachers but since he arrived, we haven’t needed so many because he fills in so happily and is really good at it. He is very talented, and contributes a lot. We’ve recently added him to church council. I often watch him and wonder how he does it. I have asked him before whether it is too much and if he is frustrated by the rest of us, but he says he feels strongly called to serve. I can’t imagine having the kind of conviction and abilities he has.”
He's so talented
- Have you ever talked about someone in a way similar to this? What was the context?
- In what ways is the community being strengthened through Michael’s involvement? In what ways is it being weakened?
- How would you describe Michael’s view of “service”?
- How do we create environments where people can identify and offer their gifts to the community?
- Put yourself in the place of the different people in this community. What is it like for Michael? What is it like for the person speaking? What might it be like for others on church council? What about for the paid church leader? What is the process for people to decide whether or not to be contributing to the life of their community?
- What has it taken in your life, for you to move from the sidelines of something, into the centre of activity?
Wisdom from the pews
“There can be people in our communities who are gifted in many areas and make a big contribution. However, depending on one person alone to carry a community puts limitations on its growth and development. It can also reduce the opportunities for others to have a go at stepping up and contributing, as part of their own discipleship. ”
“Building teams, sharing responsibilities and creating systems that allow new people to contribute easily increases the overall capacity of the community.”
Uniting Mission & Education offers courses to encourage people in discovering active discipleship, including living our values and understanding the sacraments. Find out more about upcoming learning opportunities here: