By Dennis Jennings

We have probably all heard someone say, either in jest or frustration, “Ministry would be great if it wasn’t for people.” But we who have God’s call on our lives know that people are what ministry is all about! It doesn’t take long to realize that at some point there is more people ministry that needs to be done than any one of us can personally do.  We have to have others who will come alongside us to help us accomplish in the lives of people what God wants us to do. If we don’t, our capacity to do people ministry becomes the bottleneck or even the cap on what we will ever accomplish. When that happens, we begin to allow people to unintentionally fall through the cracks.

In order to make effective ministry more manageable, and to ensure no one falls through the cracks, it makes sense for us to equip others to help with people ministry – Sunday School teachers, group leaders – people who are willing to help us expand the number of people to whom we effectively minister. It is important that we equip these leaders with the knowledge that ministry looks different for different people – a visitor, a faithful person with needs, an absentee, a prospect, etc.

We have found that putting people into groups or subgroups within classes helps us based on the type of ministry that is necessary and helps leaders know what their purpose is when they minister to different people. Therefore, they are more effective in their ministry.  We have identified four groups of people each class will minister to in different ways: members, visitors, prospects, and those who have become non-responsive. In this post, we will deal with the first. The last three we will address in a later article.

Enrolled – This is a ministry list for class members. These are the people who are enrolled as class members.

Daniel Edmonds really captured the heart of this type of ministry when he wrote:

“Enrollment does not represent an individual’s commitment to the class, but the commitment of the class to the individual.  Enrollment is not about the person attending the class, but about the class attending to the needs of the individual. Enrollment becomes the way a class extends its ministry and mission field by identifying people to whom it can demonstrate the love of Christ.”

Every class member has someone who is personally responsible to know them – to find out if they are saved, to “provoke them to love and good works” –  whether that is the teacher, a care group leader, or fellow class member. They are contacted when they are absent. They are prayed for regularly. Someone cares for them and is there for them in their hurts (sickness, death of a loved one, etc.)

Until each person has someone who cares for them personally, effective ministry cannot consistently happen.

Until each person has someone who cares for them personally, effective ministry cannot consistently happen.

Dennis Jennings is the Pastor of Cherry Street Baptist Church, and the vice president of the Baptist Church Ministry Network.