In the earlier years of New Life there weren’t much structure, system or policies. We began the church with just about 25-30 people, and anyone who had a warm body was encouraged to serve in New Life. And I am grateful for everyone who stepped up when the church was young and small and did all kinds of unglamorous ministries. New Life wouldn’t be where it is right now without all those unsung heroes’ sacrificial service.
Now, the church has grown to be more than 300 people, including our children. It’s not a small church anymore considering the fact that an average size church in America has about 70 to 80 members. This calls for a better-defined structure and system for New Life to function well for God’s kingdom and glory. The Early Church in Acts went through the same thing when it started to grow and people’s needs weren’t being met because things weren’t being taken care of in an efficient manner. Therefore, the Apostles came up with the policy we see in Acts 6: 1-7:
“… So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’?So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly?.” (Acts 6: 1-7)
We are definitely reading about church policy in this passage. But what is interesting about the passage is that the apostles didn’t just ask anybody to serve in this particular ministry. They believed that it required a certain level of spiritual maturity and they carefully selected seven men who were known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.
I have come to a realization that there are some ministries in New Life that also require deeper spiritual maturity, and I feel the need to share this with you through this letter. As you all know, we have four core classes called Class 101, 201, 301 and 401, and you are to take these classes sequentially only after making the commitment to the class covenant. We also have two one-to-one discipleship Bible studies, Beginning the Journey and The Arrival Kit that are musts for everyone. On top of this, there is a one-day “Shepherds and Interns Training Seminar” which is required for everyone who would become a house church shepherd.
These will be the requirements for various ministry positions:
Seven team leaders: They are the servant-leaders of the church. Therefore, they will be chosen from the house church shepherds who have taken all the required classes and also have the experience of multiplying their house church at least once.
House church shepherds: Since they are considered as lay pastors who are responsible for the spiritual leadership and growth for a small group of people, they will need to take all the classes listed above.
Youth shepherds and children’s ministry volunteers: We would like to have those members who have passion for these ministries serve in them. Therefore, they must have graduated from Class 301 (Discovering My Ministry) and Beginning the Journey in order to serve in these ministries.
Praise team leaders: They are some of the most visible people in the church, and it is extremely important that they share the vision of New Life and are on the same page with the team leaders. Therefore, they must take all the classes and also Class 511 (Discovering a Heart of Worship).
Praise team members: Again, we want those who are passionate about and gifted with worship to be on stage. They will need to take up to Class 301, Class 511 and Beginning the Journey.
Finance ministry people: Counting the offering, setting the budget and generating people’s contribution reports for tax purpose are very sensitive ministries that require a high level of spiritual maturity. Therefore, we will have those who have graduated from Class 201 and have committed themselves to the four spiritual disciplines serve in these ministries.
I know that this won’t affect many of you because as New Life has been growing, your walk with Christ has been growing as well. If there is anyone who falls short of these commitments, it’s time for you to raise your commitment level in following Christ! Let’s not get left behind!
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