Chapter 2 – Where Do We Begin?

With the popularity of Dr. Henry Blackaby's book, Experiencing God, Christians are more accustomed to looking outside ourselves to "find out where God is working and join Him." When we do this, we see myriads of needs. However, today's world presents so many needs, we cannot meet them all. We must steward our time, energy, and gifts well just to meet some of the needs we see – whether they are inside the church or outside in the community. Only passion-driven ministry is sustainable in the long run. So, this means it is essential to help disciples identify where they best fit in ministry, if we want to carry out the Great Commission.

This does not mean all ministry activity can or should be driven by our areas of passion, any more than it should all be driven by areas of need. In fact, Jay suggests people consider using 80% of their available service time in passion/strength/gift-based ministry, and 20% in need-based ministry roles. If we attempt to reverse the percentages, we will likely find that volunteers eventually burn out. It drains people’s energy and interest when they end up "slotted" into a program that needs a worker, even though they do not fit the gift profile for that position. It simply is not sustainable in the long run – especially because leaders can only motivate temporarily through guilt, shame, and/or charisma.

Still, when we know what our personality, spiritual gifts, strengths, abilities, and passions are, that does not automatically get us as disciples involved in meaningful ministry. Even churches like Willow Creek – which developed their Network resources for discovering personal style, gifts, and passions – found that connecting people in ministry was a "complicated" process.

Jay suggests the critical core problem in mobilization is this: It is not merely a complicated process, but we have attempted to use an incomplete process. He discerned this weakness from his own church staff experiences, as well as nearly 10 years of research, development, and evaluation of assimilation tools for PLACE Ministries.

PLACE Ministries' new mobilyzr system takes into account Jay's findings on a complete process for fulfilling the ideal of "Every member a minister." It offers a six-part approach to member assimilation and ministry mobilization that involves intentional connecting, identifying, equipping, empowering, encouraging, and multiplying of volunteers. Mobilyzr's holistic, integrated, and sustainable systems include trainings in concepts and skills, assessment tools, and database features that track ministry mobilization and evaluate short-term and long-term results.

Are You Committed? gives the overall rationale for the mobilyzr system, and each of the next six chapters focuses on one of the essential parts in this process.