serving groups

One of the things I love most about Gateway is that central to the mission of our church is the fulfillment of the Great Commission in EVERY aspect of ministry. For year, my focus as a Children’s Pastor was to help kids know and follow Christ. It wasn’t until coming to Gateway that I really began considering the spiritual health and growth of those serving kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been concerned about my volunteers spiritual condition, it just wasn’t my job. It was their responsibility to be in a small group or accountable relationship to be growing. I just needed them to help me reach kids. Sure, we could debate the pros and cons of this setup, but Gateway challenged my thinking about caring for and leading volunteers spiritually.

The problem is that many of the volunteers and leaders serving in our children’s ministries aren’t in small groups. Many times it’s for good reason. So what about their spiritual care? Who’s responsible? If I’m leading my area at the pastoral level and Ephesians 4 tells me it’s my job to equip the saints, then perhaps the spiritual condition of my volunteers is my responsibility. Think beyond that for a minute. What if my elementary small group leaders at the 9:30 service were growing together spiritually in the same way a small group would? Wouldn’t that make my team more united, consistant and effective in working together? You bet.

So the diagram above was developed by Gateway several years ago to show how people at Gateway can be cared for spiritually. The stars represent people who are not connected spiritually at Gateway. The idea is to get those who are not connected to link up either with a small group or join a serving team. We all know there are many who gravitate toward serving before they would a small group. However, either path is good. As you can see by the diagram, many people on serving teams are also in small groups. Nothing wrong with that. However, directors and coordinators also try to create groups within the serving team. Maybe 5 of the 9 small group leaders at a service will decide to do a study together. So within that serving team, 5 people who serve in the children’s ministry begin receiving spiritual care and support by a serving group. They serve together and grow together.

It’s a great model and were seeing some great things happening spiritually in the lives of our volunteers. All this helps us make a greater impact on the lives of kids. It’s modeling what we expect to see happen in the lives of kids as well. What do you think?