One of the keys to a church's missional success is how it deploys its members. There are two approaches: one facilitates the church's mission, while the other often frustrates it. Few in the church ever clarify this choice, but every church makes it, and every church lives with the conse-quences of its choice.

The institutional approach to lay ministry begins with the needs of the institution. Every church needs Sunday school teachers, committee members, musicians, ushers. When a job opens up, the institutional response is to search for a person who seems most suitable to fill it and/or is most likely to say yes. Success, in such churches, is when a member says, "Okay, I'll do it." Hopefully the person is qualified, gifted, and motivated for that ministry, but there are no guarantees. If it turns out there is a mismatch between member and task, the result is a job poorly done and a member mostly frustrated. "Plugging warm bodies into ministry slots in a congregation," says ministry ...

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