Philosophy is the theory and principles behind a way of thinking and living. Recently I was asked to speak at Tabor College and share my Philosophy of Ministry. I really enjoyed preparing for this lecture because it forced me, as a practitioner, to mine my heart and mind for the theory behind why I do what I do.

I deliberately resolved not to look in any other textbook but to draw only upon my thoughts, the patterns of my previous experience and ultimately God’s Word. What came out of me was interesting to observe and and exciting to hear feedback upon.

What I did is give expression to a lot of past team conversations and previously held thoughts that crystalized in one concise and hopefully logical summary for others to eavesdrop in on. I shared the bones of the inspired thought with my team recently (great feedback) and this Sunday (May 16) I will be sharing my heart with the church and taking the entire congregation of Activate on a journey into the far reaching places of Activosophy = activate philosophy.

Why is your philosophy of ministry important to share? Because we often don’t reflect enough on the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’. We tend to go from one ministry week to the next, let alone month to month, without really discerning why we go about what we do. I think it’s important to share also because the people around you really need to get on the same page with you and own what God has put in your heart. Often we are leading people into storming the gates of hell without explaining why or how. We cast compelling vision but don’t really explain what is behind the vision. People will buy into you far quicker if they understand why you care about what you are talking about. Understanding is the basis of care and people can’t care about the vision if they don’t understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’.

There are several defining marks of my philosophy of ministry and I am not going to go into detail here but suffice to say I touch on the following themes:

  • Theology must intersect with everyday life
  • Your story has shaped your philosophy
  • The Word & Spirit shapes the foundation of my philosophy
  • The leaders call is primary in a philosophy of ministry
  • How the church is governed impacts our philosophy
  • Mission answers the question, “Why do we exist?”
  • Culture answers the question, “What’s important to us?”
  • Vision answers the question, “What direction are we heading in?”
  • Strategy answers the question, “How are we going to get there?”
  • John 15:1-11 is the core of my philosophy = Relationship with Christ.

I encourage you to do your own homework and clarify what paradigm of ministry you are operating out of. You will better understand yourself and what God is doing currently in your ministry and the people you lead will feel like the lights have turned on and the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ will become a lot clearer.

Lead the Change!

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