The title of this post is from an old joke about marriage and divorce. The gist of the joke is that divorce would cost you so much that it’s just cheaper to keep her. Admittedly this joke is in somewhat poor taste. But, as I think of this joke, I see a connection with how we do ministry. You see as ministry leaders we often work very hard recruit new leaders and helpers. However, in many cases, once we have them where we want them they no longer warrant our attention. In a way our ministries become like black holes; we suck people in and leave them to flounder around in the darkness.
Naturally, this is not intentional. It is simply a result of the busyness of ministry. Vacancies in our ministries weigh heavily on us. We feel a great sense of urgency to fill these holes. But, once they are filled our mind moves on to other things. We may not intentionally abandon our new teammates, but we do it none the less. Unfortunately, this action can lead to burnout, hurt feelings and ultimately that person leaving your ministry.
So, how do we fix this?
- Put as much effort into keeping them as you do in recruiting them (if not more).
- Equip them to do the job you have recruited them for. (If your a PASTOR then Ephesians 4:11 says that’s your job.)
- Follow-up with them. I recommend meeting, or at least talking, with them weekly to begin with. Then as they settle in you can move it further out. As your ministry grows you will need to start looking for someone to handle this job for you as you will be unable to continue to do it as the number of people in your ministry grows.
So, what is your plan for supporting the people that you recruit into your ministry?Matt Norman
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