Congratulations, you are a builder.
Build lives. That is what ministry is all about. It is what you and your church are called to do. The apostle Paul gives specific instructions to church leaders:
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ. (Eph. 4:11–12)
Ministry is done so that the body of Christ may be built up. The term Paul uses for “build up” is the Greek word oikodome. ￼￼￼￼￼It is a construction term. It paints the picture of building a house. Constructing lives is the calling.This imagery runs throughout the New Testament. Believers are challenged to continue growing in the faith:
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Col. 2:6–7)
Notice the language. The term for built up is a present-tense participle. This indicates continuous action. The house is always being tweaked. The application is simple—building lives is active and ongoing. It is a process. There is more. First Peter 2:5 and Ephesians 2:22 compare the expanding of the kingdom of God to the building of a house. As people come to faith in Christ, the spiritual house is expanded. A new addition is constantly being added.
In both senses you are called to partner with God in a great building project. You are to build the spiritual house by bringing people into a relationship with God. And you are to build the lives of individuals by helping them progress in the faith.
You are a builder.
According to the apostle Paul, you must take this role seriously (1 Cor. 3:14). You must be careful how you build. The how is important. It is and it always has been.
As a builder, you need some clear blueprints.
Blueprints are not blue anymore, but they are still as vital as ever. Blueprints are essential when designing or building. They show not only what will be built but also how it will be built. They show in great detail how everything fits together. Building without blueprints would be ridiculous. It is inconceivable. You would never trust a physical house to a builder ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼without blueprints. A good builder doesn’t just wing it. He begins with a clear plan, a clear design.
A builder comes to the table with more than a brochure.
Brochures are different from blueprints. Brochures show the finished product. They show what the house will look like. However, you could not build a house with a brochure. It would be insufficient. The brochure is pretty, but it is not clear.
Blueprints contain more depth. You could follow the blueprint and build a house. Why would we attempt to build spiritual lives without a clear ministry blueprint? To build the lives of people effectively, you need a clear ministry process. You need a blueprint that has clarity.
There is a highly significant relationship between church vitality and the clarity of the process. Clarity is the ability of the process to be communicated and understood by the people.
You are a builder, and it is time to design a ministry blueprint. It is time to be sure you have a clear ministry process. There are five keys to clarity. All five are essential and have been validated by research. If you want your process to be clear, you must define it, illustrate it, discuss it, and measure it. You must also constantly monitor the understanding of your people in regard to your process.
Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)