Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Critical Ministries in the Southern Baptist Convention

LifeWay Research recently finished a survey that reveals the ministry priorities of pastoral leadership in churches of various sizes in the SBC. The study, "Critical Ministries and Their Leadership," surveyed 801 Southern Baptist pastors about what they believed were the most critical ministries in their churches, whether those ministries have effective leadership in place and how they relate to those ministry leaders. Mark Kelly unpacks some of the data in an article written for Lifeway news.

You can obviously go and read this article for yourself... however, I thought the charts were interesting to simply consider...

Based on the stats alone... what concerns you and encourages you about what these leaders consider critical ministries?

Let's discuss this in the comment section of this post...


Bishop James I Feel God Brown said...

I think I am most surprised by lack of weight & importance that we as pastors, place on the ministry of prayer.

All of these ministries are important, both now & in the future.

Nonetheless, just like having a fully equiped,staffed,and powerful fire truck is important to the fire department. It is useless without the fuel that propells the engine.

For the church that fuel is prayer and it can never be only an after-thought

In Him,
JMb <><

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Jason said...

I am most shocked that the priority placed on the teaching ministry of pastors is so low.

Actually, I am not shocked. That seems to be par for the course in the SBC right now. Shallow preaching and teaching result from low priority. People don't value it because churches don't value it...because pastors don't value it.

Considering this is the PRIMARY role of the Pastor, you would think it would be higher.
Considering it is through proclamation of the Word that evangelism and discipleship is done...you'd think it'd be higher.

The other sad thing is that the area of highest value in the future is a ministry that has no biblical precedent or support.

Gotta love pragmatism.

Tom said...

I definately agree with Jason,,

It seems like throughout the Bible God uses pastors/preaching as a primary method of spreading the gospel. Unfortunately, its position so low on the survey doesnt suprise me. It feels like right preaching of the gospel is lacking in lot of churches today.

Practically, I know that as a church member i must better fulfill my responsibilities by encouraging my pastor and supporting him so that he may focus on his primary role in the body.

Thanks for the posts Bobby,, They're all great

Bobby said...

I completely agree with all the comments so far... I guess I thought that preaching (specifically) was not deemed critical... however, these stats only solidified that assumption. Thanks for all the comments... this is a very interesting topic.

And the fact that children's ministries and youth ministries are so high just confirms the consumer mentality of churchgoers....

Nathan said...

It's too bad to see prayer ministry so low. However, I would probably say that about whichever ministry was the lowest because they are all important. I'm very encouraged to see student ministry held so highly. It's important to equipe the the next generation and it looks like the SBC is doing that.

Joshua said...

I don't think it is a very useful survey. I don't know that you can prioritize the ministries a church should focus on or even put them in order of importance. That is why we are the body of Christ, some teach, some serve, ect. There are things on this list we are all called to do like evangelism, prayer, worship, bible study. God has a specific calling for each of us and together we should fulfill all of these ministries. I think too many pastors have taken on a CEO mentality of trying to make the church "better" using the best ideas their human minds can come up with instead of allowing the holy spirit to inspire them.

Mark L said...

I completely agree with Joshua. How can we have one goal of a church that is more important than the rest? Arent all of these topics jobs of the church? Just as we are all parts of the body of christ with none being more important than the next. Arent all the parts of this survey roles of the church with none more important than the next?

Jason said...

Not all ministries are of equal value. Why? Because not all ministries are vital? Why? Because not all ministries are biblical and God-ordained.

Is Recreation ministry good? It can be useful. Is it NECESSARY? No way.
Is the Proclamation of the Word NECESSARY? YES!!!

By that evaluation alone all "ministries" are not created equal.

In my estimation we spend too much time, money, effort, and resources in building up unnecessary ministries that it distracts from the necessary and vital. This survey proves that point. We are more concerned about age-graded ministries than we are the teaching of the Word.

We need to evaluate all that the church does, hold on to the vital dearly, and re-evaluate the usefulness and needfulness of some ministries. Too many of these ministries are the clever invention of man and actually get in the way rather than help.

May God give us the boldness to evaluate our non-essential activities...no matter how dear they may be to us.