Spotlight: Ken Thomas, Executive Pastor of Lakeshore Vineyard Church Shares His Perspectives
David Posthuma @ Nov 13, 2006 01:52 PM
ASSESSME.org: Ken, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be the Executive Pastor for Lakeshore Vineyard Church.
Spotlight: South Point Community Church
David Posthuma @ Sep 6, 2006 07:38 PM
ASSESSME.org: Dennis, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be Pastor of Gift Assessment and Administration for South Point Community Church.
I have a wonderful wife of 14 years and I'm the father of four boys! I have a business background and was called into a full time church staff position about 3 years ago. I'm 39 and looking forward to serving God the rest of my life!
I became Pastor of Gift Assessment and Administration because my Senior Pastor, Russ Austin and our staff wanted more of a direct focus on identifying and releasing the gifts within the people that God was placing in the church. Our Pastor thought that my gift mix would work well in this new position. And, I really love it! My passion is to assist people in finding their place in God's Kingdom and moving them wholeheartly in that direction.
ASSESSME.org: Why are you passionate about mobilizing people for ministry?
Because, as pastors, we are called to prepare God's people for works of service! If the people are not ministering with their God given gifts, they will not feel complete or be complete. Not to mention that the Body of Christ will be without all it's fullness! And, from a practical standpoint, we will burn ourselves out trying to accomplish all the things that God intended for others to do. Think about it, there is much to do in God's Kingdom!
ASSESSME.org: What unique obstacles does South Point Community Church confront when trying to mobilize people for ministry?
I'm sure that we face many of the same obstacles that your readers do.
One, people are so busy. We must give them a compelling vision of God's Kingdom and how they can make a difference. No vision. No mobilization. They are world changers! They are God's people, equipped and gifted to minister to the Lord, other believers and the world! They may start in children's ministry, but do not limit the vision.
Two, the program or process of Gift Administration was a major obstacle. We were concerned with how we would administer and track all the gift tests and assessments. Assessme.org removed the majority of manual labor involved in the process. We are now free to cast the vision and focus on identifying and releasing the gifts God placed in His people.
Three, as we continue to grow, we have a tremendous amount of new people attending the church. Communication is so critical. The saying that vision leaks is so true. We must continually focus on casting the vision and communicating it church-wide. Just because the staff knows and understands the vision, does not guarantee everyone else does.
ASSESSME.org: Using online assessments to help facilitate ministry mobilization is likely new to your congregation. What strategies is South Point Community Church leadership planning to use to introduce your assessment tools to your people?
We decided to use our entire Wednesday night service to introduce the online Assessments. On back to back Wednesdays we introduced, taught and launched the process. This enabled us to reach the core of our church.
In the future, our process of identifying and releasing the people into service includes a two week teaching class, the online assessments from Assessme.org, completion of a personal profile and follow-up interview with discussed ministry direction plus follow-up and back-end tracking to verify that the process is working.
ASSESSME.org: What words of encouragement would you offer pastoral leaders who have become discouraged by the lack of commitment and participation they observe from the members of their congregations?
You can do it! The Lord will strengthen you. Cast and recast God's vision to His people. God created them for a purpose! We are called to prepare God's people for the works of service, not to do all the works of service.