The leaders of a nearby church wanted to encourage members' use of spiritual gifts. They devised a ministry catalog and interest survey. They held a ministry fair, where some members proudly and publicly turned in their surveys. But this fanfare was both the beginning and the end of the church's attempt to call out its members' gifts.
Why? The church failed to build a foundation through vision casting. As a result, less than 10 percent of the congregation turned in interest surveys, and the leftover catalogs ended up in the church's basement. The leaders didn't understand that speed kills. Developing an equipping church, where members really identify and use their gifts, takes time. That's one of the key messages in Sue Mallory's new book, The Equipping Church (Zondervan, 2001).
Mallory is the executive director of the Leadership Training Network and the former director of lay ministry at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Her book offers principles from her experience to make ...1