Identify the faithful few in your ministry and invite them to greater involvement.
There are many categories of people that you serve with in your ministry area. Can you identify individuals that you could call to greater levels of involvement? Before you identify the faithful few in your ministry ready to be called for greater service, let’s take a step back and look at the ministry of Jesus and the levels of people He surrounded Himself with.
There are many, many people following Christ that He had an influence upon. Some of these people, however, were a part of Jesus’ inner circle, His closest group. It is interesting that Jesus had one individual that was closer to Him than the rest. His name was John. John refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” When special things were happening, John was always present. At the last supper, John leans into Jesus, rests on his chest and says “Lord, who is the one who will betray you.” Jesus didn’t tell that to Bartholomew. He didn’t tell it to Levi, the tax collector. He told it to John. As Jesus was dying on the cross, He looked to John and said “Behold, this is my mother. Mother, behold, this is your son.” John was close to Jesus.
Now there was also a different group that John was a part of. It was Peter, James, and John. This group was the next layer of people who found themselves close to Christ. When Jesus took individuals upon the Mount of Transfiguration, it was Peter, James and John that He took. When Jesus healed a sick daughter, he brought Peter, James and John. These individuals were at the epicenter of what Jesus was doing.
There was yet another group called “The Twelve.” The twelve disciples were close to Jesus when he began to explain different aspects of a parable. They were the ones who were listening. They were chosen and given the charge to go out two by two to share the Kingdom of God.
After “The Twelve,” there was another group, “The 72.” The 72 were a group of people who Jesus sent out two by two as He expanded His ministry. He gave them the same charge. They were told to go out and share the Kingdom of God. This group was special, chosen, and each given special instructions and jobs.
Beyond this group was another called, “The Following.” Most people don’t realize this, but there was a group of between 120 - 150 people who were with Jesus on many occasions. This group included women and men. Evidence of this was Matthias, who was chosen to replace Judas. Matthias’ qualifications was that he was with them from the beginning. This group of people surrounding and following Jesus was not often called out by name.
And yet there was one last group called “The Masses,” often referred to as “The 5,000.” These were grand groups of people who listened, tuned in, and yet they were certainly only on the periphery.
What I want to propose to you is, in your ministry have you identified the people who are in those categories? There individuals who know who you are as a ministry leader, yet they are not involved. Let’s call these individuals “The Masses.” There are the groups of parents who have kids you are ministering, but the parents are not completely engaged in the direct work. There is the group of people in your ministry, “The 72.” They are engaged in the ministry, given tasks and responsibilities, but yet they are not “The 12.” Finally, “The 12” is the core group of people who is your inside crew. Within that group there should and could be a group of 3 who are your inside track, your confidants, your Peter, James, and John. These are the individuals upon whom you throw out ideas. The ones who are on the inside and see more of the challenging things in the ministry. And then there is “The John.” The one that is your most trusted ally.
My question to you is do these different layers exists within your ministry? Have you identified people who you could move from the 72 into a more prominent position as the 12? How would you go about doing that? Start by identifying people who are excited about the ministry, show up early, and have a general acumen for working with kids and parents. Invite these people to a closer and deeper layer of leadership with you and with the ministry. It is important to verbally call people to a greater level of engagement, and it can happen through a tap on the shoulder. Identify people who are the faithful few and call them to deeper layers of service.