Friday, September 4, 2015

Learning How to Build a Support Team

I attended a Support Raising Solution (SRS) training in Bloomfield, NJ where I learned that an effective minister is spiritually healthy, vision-driven and fully funded.  I attended the training because what I've been doing (and so many others) in traditional church isn't working.  I found out about the training from a number of campus ministers at Michigan State University.  I was encouraged to read widely before attending the training.

Support Raising Solutions Training, Bloomfleld, NJ, August 2015

Peter Scazerro, in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality shares his experience after a Sunday of three services.  Friends were visiting from out of town and, after giving his wife short notice, he invited them to his home.  They talked for hours while Peter, exhausted from a day of ministry, listened under the piercing stare of his inconvenienced wife.  The guests, gobbling up a third hour of family time, were finally rebuffed when Peter's daughter went missing.
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A search revealed that she had been standing on tip-toes in backyard pool water up to her nostrils.  Left unattended for over 30 minutes, the smallest Scazerro was gratefully pulled out of the water.  Peter's lack of boundaries imperiled his family and revealed his emotional and spiritual unhealthiness.  I attended the training because my own lack of boundaries in ministry have imperiled my family.

In 2014, I forfeited my salary at University Baptist Church.  While we made it through the 10 months of volunteerism, ministry invaded our home in an emotionally unhealthy way.  Financial, not physical displacement, left my wife and our children on tiptoes in the pool of consumer confidence.  If Daddy continues in ministry, will we starve?  Can we depend on him to provide for us?  In Bloomfield, I learned the importance of dealing with and answering their questions.  Through biblical instruction prescribed in The God Ask, I learned that spiritual health includes providing for my family.

Support Raising Solutions helped me understand the biblical basis for being unapologetic about making a livable wage in ministry.  I learned how to plan and prepare a strategy for raising support.  Maintaining a culture of health and vibrancy on a support team is just as important as establishing a support team.   Inviting others to pursue a Christ-centered vision helps in the mobilization of the Body of Christ.

I went to New Jersey and learned that an effective ministry is spiritually healthy, vision-driven and fully funded.  Health, vision and funding are not discrete episodes as much as they are ongoing habits.  I am forming new habits in my effort to continue to see all peoples of the world know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus Christ.

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