What's my job?
Build a ministry team to address the concerns and conditions of people in the congregation and community
Lead so that people grow in their spiritual life and live as Christian disciples
Work with other leaders to plan and implement ministries that help the church fulfill its mission.
Who is qualfied for the job?
Spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, compassion, knowledge, helping, and administration.
Experience, skills: This leader has a genuine interest in helping others deepen their relationship with God and with people. At the same time, this leader should be skilled in researching, planning, and implementing ministry. Leaders of nurture, outreach and witness ministries need to listen well and communicate with people of all ages in the congregation and community. They need to be able to build ministry teams, and work well with others—individually and in groups.
What does the chairperson do?
- Maintain healthy and growing personal spiritual life and lead ministry teams to do the same.
- Lead ministry teams in biblical and theological reflection about the mission and purpose of the church so the plans and projects contribute to the purpose.
- Guide the work of the ministry groups during the year by planning the agendas and presiding at meetings.
- Support the leaders of groups that report to nurture, outreach and witness by providing the tools and information they need and by helping this meet the timeline and goals they have set.
- Collaborate with the charge conference, pastor andchurch leadership team to further the ministry of the congregation.
- Understand the overall goals of the congregation and relate the goals to specific projects and programs so that the goals are extended into and beyond the congregation. The leaders of nurture, outreach and witness work together as a leadership team for the congregation to coordinate ministry.
- To accomplish the goals of the congregation, short-term teams may form and disband throughout the year.
- The leaders of nurture, outreach and witness will explore and build networks with existing organizations, people, and resources in the congregation and community.
What does aNurture team do?
Coordinate, plan, carry out and evaluate the congregation’s ministry of member care, worship, and educational experiences, including the church school, small groups, regular and special worship services, stewardship formation, and member visitation.
What does anOutreach team do?
Coordinate, plan, carry out, and evaluate the congregation’s ministry of missions, health and welfare, Christian unity and interreligious concerns, church and society issues, religion and race, and status and role of women.
What does aWitness team do?
Coordinate, plan, carry out, and evaluate the congregation’s ministry of helping all know and respond to the love of God in Christ through outreach, setting goals for congregational growth, visitation, and membership care.
Where can I get help?
- Read Job Descriptions and Leadership Training in the United Methodist Church, 2009-2012,Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2009-2012: Small Membership Church and the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2008 to understand the depth and breadth of your position.
- Meet regularly with the lead pastor to talk about the future direction of the congregation so that the meetings and work of the leadership team supports the vision.
- In January, convene the new nurture, outreach, and witness team to get acquainted, share hopes and dreams for the ministry of your congregation, and plan your work for the year. Engage the committee in Bible study and theological reflection to understand their work of discerning and articulating God’s will for your congregation.
- Set aside time for personal spiritual practices which build your attentiveness to God’s will and direction for your leadership and your congregation. Daily management and administration can shift any leader’s attention away from the purpose of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- Develop a learning environment by inviting your team members to read and discuss a common book or having common experiences of training and mission.
- Your pastor and lay people in your congregation who are interested in specific ministries.
- Consider ways people and businesses in your community are can partner with the church to fulfill goals of reaching out and helping people in your community.
- InfoServ,infoserv.umc.org, answers questions and provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services.
- Betsey Heavner, email@example.com, GBOD, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780
Web and Print (Some books are recently out of print; if you can’t find copies in bookstores, email GBOD staff listed above for a copy as long as supplies last or find used copies online.)
Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2008
Charting the Course: A workbook in Christian Discipleship by Teresa Gilbert, Patty Johansen and Jay Regennitter with Jack Gilbert
Congregational Leaders Empowered for Change series by Bill Kemp is useful for individual and group study and reflection. Titles include:
Ezekiel’s Bones: Rekindling Your Congregation’s Spiritual Passion
Peter’s Boat: Renewing the Vitality of Burned-out Church Workers
Jonah’s Whale: Reconnecting Your Congregation with its Mission
Saul’s Armor: Reforming and Building Your Organizational Structures
David’s Harp: Returning Harmony to a Conflicted Congregation
Deepening Your Effectivenessbook and CD by Dan Glover and Claudia Lavy
Does Your Church Have A Prayer?
Growing Compassionate Kids: Helping Kids See Beyond Their Backyard by Jan Johnson
Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2009-2012: Church Council
Ministry of Christian Education and Formation: A Practical Guide for Your Congregation
Roadmap to Renewalby Douglas Ruffle
Safe Sanctuaries®(web address: /lead-your-church/safe-sanctuaries)
What Every Leader Needs to Know About series of booklets on topics related to leadership.Useful for individual and group study and reflection. Some titles are available for free by sending your specific request and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Titles for saleinclude:
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Spiritual Leadership by Mike A. Bealla
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Mission and VisionbyCarol F. Krau