- New Series: 30 Days on the Chinese Church
- Developmental Stages of a Chinese Church
- The CFC Story: Moving toward Maturity
- Why Translated Services Don’t Work
- Growing Pains
- Models of Ministry in Chinese Churches
- A Tale of Two Mailboxes
- Why we don’t have a Senior Pastor
- Unity and Diversity in a Chinese Church
- Maintaining Unity in a Chinese Church
- The Resource Pyramid
- Why Leadership Training is Job #1
- How to Equip Spiritual Leaders
- Leadership and Culture
- Leadership and Culture (Part 2)
- The Jerusalem Council: Consensus Decision Making
- English Ministry Pastor Shortage
- Reaching Adults: The Importance of Ownership
- The Power of Vision
- Caring for Co-workers
- Culture and Biblical Truth
- What about Asian American Churches?
- Advice to a Young ABC Pastor
- Advice to an OBC Senior Pastor
- Reflections on a Series
I’d like to start this week by sharing the concept of The Resource Pyramid. This simple concept helps us to understand what we need to do to develop a ministry to the next level. I originally shared this concept in a message in a joint worship service in June 2006. You can listen to the message and view the notes on the church web site.
What is the Resource Pyramid?
Ultimately every church has as its mission the Great Commission. We are called to impact the world for Jesus Christ. Our outreach ministry is represented by the top layer in the pyramid at the left (click on the picture to see a larger image). But to make that ministry possible we need a team of co-workers to support it, represented by the second layer in the diagram. Finally, to recruit, train, and care for the co-workers we need a leadership team, represented by the bottom layer.
Now what if we want to expand our ministry and reach even more people? If we try that without first expanding the co-worker team and the leadership team then we will quickly become burned out. The key is to expand the base of the pyramid first and then work upwards. I made a simple video of my explanation of the powerpoint slides so that you can see the animation. (The capture program left a few glitches in the audio, but I don’t have time to try to fix it right now.)
The Resource Pyramid in Action
When I arrived at CFC in 1994, I immediately set out to build up the college fellowship and to begin to reach out to young adults. For the first couple of years there were a few complaints that I wasn’t giving enough attention to the youth, but gradually we were able to establish a solid core of dedicated young adult youth counselors. Up until our current Assistant English Pastor joined our staff in 2004, the Youth Ministry was run by a team of counselors and a volunteer youth ministry director. After a while we began to receive comments from the guest youth speakers at our retreats that our youth counselors were awesome. Several full-time youth pastors from larger churches said that they wished that they had counselors like ours, and I had the impression that they weren’t just being polite. If any of our youth counselors are reading this, let me just say that you guys rock!
The Resource Pyramid is simply an application of the ministry principles of Jesus and Paul. Jesus concentrated His efforts on training twelve men in order to prepare them to carry on His work once He was gone. Paul clearly understood that raising up new leaders is the key to maintaining or growing a ministry (2 Tim. 2:2). This concept is so simple that I am almost embarrassed to share it with you, much less make a video. But I have seen many Christian leaders neglect this principle and burn out trying to do all the front line ministry themselves. That’s not what Jesus did, and it’s not what we should do either.
What does this mean for the Chinese church? It means that the #1 job of a pastor is raising up leaders. They best way to have an awesome youth ministry is to care for and disciple the college students and young adults. If the EM neglects this, it will always lack the co-workers needed to care for the youth and children. Often Chinese churches have trouble attracting and retaining ABC young adults, but that will be the topic for another article.