I’ve always thought pastors have the toughest job in the world. They must shepherd their congregation to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Every week they’re expected to knock it out of the park with a powerful sermon. They also run a complex organization with budgets, staff, facilities, and numerous programs. And let’s not forget the rather challenging missional responsibility to change the world for Christ.

As overwhelming as this seems, it’s all within the scope of leading a church. The trend that’s troubling to me is when church teams believe they should do it all, tackling areas outside their expertise—embracing a do-it-yourself approach to things like international missions and disaster response.

Imagine you’re going to build a new sanctuary. Would you trust all the work to untrained volunteers? While the intent is good and some benefit may indeed still come of it, “DIY humanitarian aid” is similarly ineffective. Meeting the dire needs of disaster victims or people living in chronic poverty is complex business requiring specialized skills.

Churches don’t have to do go it alone when there are resources across the body of Christ they can leverage—Christian organizations with deep experience in poverty alleviation and emergency relief. The benefit is mutual because churches and faith-based organizations want the same thing: maximum kingdom impact.

God created his people with specialization and interdependence in mind, which Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12: “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?” (v. 18–19). A church’s true ...

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