THE MINISTRY OF MANAGEMENT
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Write the Key Verse from memory.
C Define management.
C Identify spiritual resources over which believers are managers.
C Identify the main requirement for stewards.
C Identify the greatest example of leadership.
C Summarize what the ministry of management includes.
To aspire to leadership is an honorable ambition. (I Timothy 3:1) New English Bible
This chapter introduces the ministry of management. When we speak of management we are not talking about secular management like that evident in the business world. We are speaking of managing spiritual resources for the work of the ministry .
If you learn the ministry of management, you will become a good steward of the Gospel and the ministry God has given you. You will be able to work with God to accomplish His purposes.
THE DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT
"Management" is another word for "stewardship.” "Stewards,” or "managers,” are
responsible over something entrusted to them by someone else. Management is the
process of accomplishing God’s purposes and plans through proper use of human,
material, and spiritual resources. Management is evaluated by whether or not these plans and purposes are accomplished. The Bible states:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to His own way… (Isaiah 53:6)
As sheep must be directed to move along a single path , so people need direction so their
efforts and energies will accomplish God’s purposes and plans.
All believers are stewards of certain resources given by God. These are listed in the "For Further Study" section of this lesson. In addition to these resources, leaders are stewards over special resources which include:
The Gospel: We are to share its message with others.
Finances: Every believer is a steward of their personal finances, but leaders who control money of a church or Christian organization are also stewards of these funds.
Material Resources Of Ministry: These include things such as church buildings, property, and equipment.
Spiritual Gifts: Each believer has at least one spiritual gift for which they are responsible as a steward. A leader is also responsible to help others develop their spiritual gifts.
Other Believers: If you are a leader, you are responsible for other people. You must help
them mature spiritually and get involved in the work of the ministry. God uses people, not programs, to build His Kingdom. Management involves getting things done for God
THE FIRST MESSAGE ON MANAGEMENT
The first message from God to man was on the subject of management. God told Adam and Eve:
…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…and have dominion over…every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Three important tasks of managers are contained in this verse:
1. Maximize resources by "multiplying" to accomplish God’s purpose and plans.
2. Minimize disorder by "subduing.”
3. Maintain order by "ruling" (dominion).
THE GREATEST EXAMPLE
The greatest example of leadership is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the model for all
Christian leaders. You will learn later in this course about the example He set by leading
like a servant and a shepherd.
All the principles taught in this course are demonstrated in what Jesus did and taught.
Every necessary quality of a leader was evident in the life of Christ. Every task a leader must perform was illustrated by Him. He set an example in training leaders and
THE MAIN REQUIREMENT
God does not consider stewards successful because of their education, natural ability, or personality. They are successful because of their faithfulness. The main requirement of stewards is that they are faithful:
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (I Corinthians 4:2)
Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25:14-30 about servants whose master gave them
resources called "talents,” which in this case was money. They were told to be good stewards and use the funds wisely. Those who did so were called "faithful" and were rewarded. Those who failed were judged and held accountable.
THE MINISTRY OF MANAGEMENT
The ministry of management involves leading others to accomplish great things for God. Management includes the following areas which you will study about in this course:
Recognizing The Importance Of The Anointing To Lead: Anointing by God for leadership is more important than education, talents, and experience.
Meeting Biblical Qualifications For Leadership: The management of ministry begins with the management of self.
Learning To Lead Like A Servant: Scriptural leadership is not flashy public relations and a charismatic platform personality. It is humble service to those you lead. Serving is what sets Christian leadership apart from worldly leadership.
Learning To Lead Like A Shepherd: The qualities of a shepherd in the natural world are what Jesus used to describe spiritual leadership.
Understanding The Basic Tasks Of Leaders: These include the difficult areas of decisionmaking and solving conflict and discipline problems.
Training Leaders And Followers: We all lead in certain situations, but everyone is a
follower in other situations. Leaders must have followers. Both leaders and followers must be trained.
Applying Principles Of Success Taught In God’s Word: These principles will assure successful management of spiritual resources.
Avoiding Violations That Cause Failure In Leadership: Failure in leading and following results from violations of Scriptural principles.
Understanding Principles Of Biblical Organization: These include leadership positions established by God and those developed because of practical needs of the Church.
THE BASIS OF BIBLICAL ORGANIZATION
Organization of ministry is not fixed , rigid, or based on worldly patterns. Organization is
flexible to accommodate the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Management of ministry exists
for the purpose of achieving God -given purposes and plans, not to create a rigid
corporate, institutional structure . Organization in the Church is really more like a living
organism. The Bible compares the Church to the human body, with each part working
You cannot be elected to leadership in God’s organization. You may be elected or
appointed by man to an office , but no leader is ever made by appointment or election . You must be called and equipped by God for the work of the Kingdom .
Leadership involves position , for example, positions like apostle, prophet, evangelist,
pastor, and teacher. Leadership also involves function. Its main function is equipping
others for the work of the ministry. Leadership also concerns the relations of leaders with their followers.
Selection and promotion as a leader comes from God:
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another. (Psalms 75:6-7)
OTHER AREAS OF MANAGEMENT
Management also involves analyzing your ministry in order to establish purpose and plans. You can learn how to conduct such a study in the Harvestime International Institute course on "Environmental Analysis.”
Management also involves the following areas about which you will learn in the Harvestime International Institute course "Management By Objectives":
Formulating A Purpose For Ministry In Harmony With That Of God: If you do not know your purpose and have a vision, you cannot lead others.
Making Plans To Achieve The Purpose: You will never achieve your purpose if you do not plan to do so.
Organizing People And Procedures To Implement The Plan: Management involves motivating and supervising people as they accomplish tasks which are part of God’s purpose and plans.
Perfecting The Plan Through Evaluation: The Lord’s work should be done with excellence.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD MANAGEMENT
Here are some reasons why proper management of ministry is important:
PROVIDES PURPOSE AND DIRECTION:
If you are to be successful in ministry, then you must have a purpose and plans in
harmony with those of God and be able to communicate them to others. When you know your specific purpose for ministry and make plans to fulfill that purpose, then you can lead others. Leaders must know where they are going in order to guide others. Guidance and unity in ministry involve common purpose and direction.
When there is proper direction, confusion is eliminated:
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (I Corinthians 14:33) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1)
If God’s activities are not characterized by confusion, the ministries of His servants should not be either.
PERMITS PROPER DECISIONS:
Decisions determine your destiny. This is true even of salvation. You make a decision to either accept or reject the Gospel and your eternal destiny is determined by your
Your present life and ministry is determined by previous decisions you have made. You either made decisions by thoughtful planning or on the spur of the moment. Good
management permits you to make proper decisions with the guidance of the Lord.
ESTABLISHES PRIORITIES FOR MINISTRY:
Priorities are things which are more important than other things. They are the things
which take first place in your time and attention. You will have priorities in life whether you consciously determine them or not. You will establish priorities either by drifting into habits that become a way of life, because of pressure of circumstances or people around you , or by a definite decision based on God’s purposes.
PERMITS ACTION RATHER THAN REACTION:
Many ministries are occupied with reacting to urgent matters in the present instead of planning for the future. This causes leaders to react rather than act with wisdom and
Without a strategy or plan, you do not know what you are doing in ministry, why you are doing it, or how it is to be done. Because you have no organization and direction, you have nothing to commit to, no way to evaluate your effectiveness for God, and you are easily persuaded to react and quit in crisis times.
Good management transforms desire to demonstration and visions to reality. It helps you determine what you are to do and how to do it in order to fulfill God’s purposes.
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:1 4-30 the servants were accountable for all that was entrusted to their care. Their master had a plan, communicated it to them, and they were to fulfill it by investing the funds they were given.
You are accountable not only for knowing God’s will for your life and ministry, but also for doing it:
And that servant, which knew His Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
If you do not wisely manage the ministry with which you are entrusted, you will be held accountable.
Management includes evaluation to see if you are fulfilling God’s purpose and plan. Understanding Biblical principles of success and reasons for failure permit such
PERMITS WISE USE OF SPIRITUAL RESOURCES:
Good management helps you manage spiritual resources properly and enables you to be a proper steward of funds, material possessions, people, and spiritual gifts for the work of God’s Kingdom .
PREPARES YOU TO ENTER OPEN DOORS:
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. (I Corinthians 16:9)
When God opens doors, you must be ready to walk through them and face new
challenges. This is not possible without proper preparation. Read the parable of the wise
and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. God opens doors, but they do not stay open
forever. They open and wait for you to enter. Then they close, sometimes never to open
HARMONIZES MINISTRY WITH GOD’S WILL:
The first question of the Apostle Paul after his conversion was , "What will you have me to do?" He was asking God , "What is your plan for my life and ministry?" Wise
stewardship brings your life and ministry in harmony with God’s purpose and plans.
GOD SEEKS LEADERS
God told King Saul:
But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man
after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over
His people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee. (I Samuel 13:14)
God still searches for men whom He can use as leaders:
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land; that I should not destroy it; but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him… (II Chronicles 16:9)
Becoming a good manager takes time and effort:
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. (I Corinthians 3:13)
Wood, hay, and stubble all grow above the ground . It is easily produced and can readily be seen by man, but it is easily destroyed. Gold and silver are precious medals produced under the ground. They are not readily seen by man, but they are more lasting.
Flashy, popular, secular leadership is like the wood, hay, and stubble. It is seen of man and easily produced through natural talents and abilities. Godly leadership is like gold and silver. It is produced by the power of the Holy Spirit in the inner, hidden man . But it is infinitely precious and durable.