How to Turn Members into Ministers

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Sometimes there can be a big difference between the needs of a pastor and the needs of his people. The pastor needs workers and leaders to help run the church.

What if every member of your church discovered their gift mix, and God’s dreams for their lives? What if this could solve your volunteer problem? What if this could happen in a matter of weeks, not years? It can.

The number one reason people don’t serve is because they don’t want to. That’s simple, yes…. But it’s true. We typically don’t do things we don’t want to do unless we have to. Same with volunteering. Most pastors need volunteers to fulfill the church’s vision. They know their people need motivation, but mistakenly use guilt, shame and manipulation. This brings short term gain, but over time you know this doesn’t work. There’s a better way.

God designed different people to play different parts in the body. In Ephesians Chapter 4 Paul talks about the ascension gifts—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers–and how they were given to equip the saints for ministry. Leaders need to focus on equipping others for ministry. And senior leaders need to focus on developing their leadership teams to be equippers. If senior leaders are spending most of their time counseling members, visiting members in the hospital, preparing sermons and doing administrative work they are missing it! Those things are important, but senior leaders need to be equipping others to do most of those things. They need to be spending the bulk of their time developing leaders who are equipping others and developing other leaders.

The key is leadership. Leaders are the bones that support the flesh of the body. If your leaders are not healthy and productive and equipping others in each of those areas (apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching), you won’t grow. You won’t develop the saints to be doing ministry. And the saints, the “regular” members, won’t be fulfilling their part.

In Romans 12, Paul uses the metaphor of a body to describe how the people of God should function. Every member is important and essential to the health of the whole body. God has designed each person to enjoy functioning in their roles – in fact, we consider that each person’s personal destiny. It’s how God wired them to be!

When your people discover their gift mix and God’s dreams for them, a natural desire to serve awakens within them. When they serve using His gifts, they experience delight. That delight becomes a motivation to keep on serving in the future. When you live the life God created you to live, it’s actually a little addictive. We encourage you to move from duty-driven motivation to delight-directed motivation.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Jesus was motivated by joy, motivated to go to the cross by the joy set before him. What was that joy? To please his Father and to be exalted to God’s right hand and to redeem mankind. People need to see the joy, they need to have a hope. They need to believe that the Lord has a plan for their lives and that He has a purpose that is worth all the sacrifice! Leaders need to help people understand that, so they will be motivated internally by the call of God, not by the agenda of men. BUT…it’s not an independent thing. Leaders need to help people discover that call of God and then they need to help them fulfill it – and that means serving and being developed – and one of the primary places that takes place is through serving in the church. But you’re calling people to serve God and to server the church so they can fulfill God’s call, not just being cogs in your wheel.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, if you can help your people discover who they are, many will find they are created to serve God’s vision for your church in the areas you need most. They will volunteer freely and serve even through hardship because they are motivated for the right reasons.

There are a number of spiritual gift tests out there to help people understand their gifts. We have a companion ministry, Destiny Finder, which has a powerful set of assessments that help people discover not only their spiritual gifts, but their passions, their ministry preferences, their motivational gifts, and other aspects of their calling.

We created the Destiny Finder book to help people with the process. You can get one at, or get a FREE Ebook by entering your email on the Destiny Finder home page.

You can take our FREE spiritual gift test while you are on the site That’s a sample of the Profiler, our assessment tool. Then get the Profiler for all five assessments.

Lastly, we send members of our team out to do Destiny Finder workshops and conferences. Our favorite part is the feedback we get from pastors about how people are more motivated to serve and volunteer.

The key is to understand that the job of leaders is to develop people for the Kingdom. It’s discipleship, it’s leadership development, it’s functioning in the five-fold ministry. Help people connect with their destiny and they will see the joy set before them and they will endure anything to fulfill the call of God.

We would love to see if we could be a help in any way. Shoot us an email at [email protected] and let’s chat.

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