Survey Usage

This survey may be used in two ways:

  1. as a discussion guide for Staff Pastor Parish Committees or Vision Teams,
  2. as a prompter to what level of visioning approach to use.

Well-being Assessment (PDF)

To use online simply mark the survey for current reality and copy the result. Then reset the survey and mark the survey for how you would like the ministry to be. After you have completed both scorings, compare and discuss.

Passion - Readiness - Capacity

Over a number of years I have used the words passion, readiness, and capacity separately in ministry writings and conversations. Each of the words has power and promotes good questions about our abilities to perform ministry.

Passion is a loaded term that can call up our deepest, most heartfelt thoughts and emotions. When applied to ministry, passion becomes synonymous with energy, love, compassion, and light. It is hard to imagine a strong ministry without some spark of passion.

Readiness is a word that implies a high degree of preparation and willingness to perform ministry. So many times I have heard myself and others say, "I am just not ready…I need to wait until I am really ready."

Capacity is a word that I have heard leaders and consultants used frequently during the last year. Sometimes I have heard it voiced in a derogatory fashion, signaling that a person or group is simply not able to perform a certain task or ministry. On the other hand, it is a word that helps us come to grips with what is required of us to perform a ministry well. It is a positive way to discover and learn new ministries for the purpose of being relevant in peoples lives. The new Igniting Ministry materials make clear for all of us how important it is to increase our capacity to follow-through and perform the type of ministry we advertise!

About a month ago I dreamed a dream that put all three words into same context. It went something like this:

There was a railway station situated in a way that it was able to accommodate at least three trains if they happened to arrive at the same time. The dream imaged the words passion, readiness, and capacity as separate passenger trains arriving at this particular station at a given time. If the trains arrive at about the same time, the station had facility enough to connect all of them together into one train and send it off to a destination.

As the dream proceeded, the passion train arrived first. It was filled with people who had a great vision and were very excited about seeing it through. The passion train waited a long time for the other two trains to arrive. After a while, the passion train could not wait any longer. It left the station without connecting with either of the other two trains.

Somewhat later the readiness train arrived. The people on board had all the facts and understandings about what to do. All they needed was to connect with a good vision and passionate energy as well as a little knowledge about how to go about responding to the facts and understandings they had just gained. They became aware that the passion train had left and so decided not to wait for capacity; they too left the station.

Within moments the third train, carrying people with great capacity and skill arrived. The people were filled with ideas and knowledge about how to "do" any form of ministry one could imagine. They knew it all! However, they were desperately in need of a sense of passion for the "doing" and information about what form of ministry would be most helpful. When they learned that both of the other trains left the station without them they made the decision to just stay at the station and try something on their own without passion, without readiness.

It was then the dream became a consultant's nightmare. A dream for me becomes a nightmare when there is no apparent way out of a situation that feels hopeless and frustrating. I woke up realizing that as leaders in ministry, each of us can serve better if we can learn to be patient enough to bring together passion, readiness, and capacity for the good of what we do in Christ's name. To afford a sense of timing that allows for the heart, teaches the mind, and promotes competent action.

In working with congregations desiring to revision, or area leaders seeing a new ministry start; I believe it will be important to look for signs that link the elements of passion, readiness, and capacity. My questions for you are:

  • Can you describe a ministry action that used all three elements?
  • Can you think of a failed action that was missing one or two of the elements?
  • Is there a current ministry in which you believe needs to bring into the "station" one or more of the elements?
  • Starting new churches, new ministries, or revisioning established churches require all three elements. Who is it that brings the passion, the readiness, the capacity? Who needs to be part of your team? The same question applies to conference groups like the Board of Congregation and Circuit Development.

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