WORKERS’ TRAINING MANUAL.
MODULE 1 : WHO IS A WORKER IN THE CHURCH OF GOD ?
Every leader, be it religious or secular, needs helpers and lieutenants as to be able to accomplish all that are required of him. This is because no man is an island, a tree cannot make a forest, thus we need one another. Apostle Paul describes it as different parts of the body performing divers but unique duties for the wellbeing of the whole body(1 Corithians 12:27).
Moses as a spiritual leader had Joshua, Aaron, Hur, 70 elders, etc, to help him accomplish his divine mandate, John the baptist and Jesus had innumerable disciples. Thus for a pastor to fulfill God’s call upon his life, he needs helping hands.
In this module therefore, we will be looking at who a worker in the church of Christ is and what are his responsibilties.We will also consider the qualifications and qualities he must possess in order to carry out his enormous duties effectively.
(A) DEFINITION :
A church worker is simply a committed bonafide member of a church who invests his/her potentials, endowments, energy, and time, etc, for the growth and smooth running of the church. This person renders selfless services to God through the church he/she is planted in.
Workers co-operatively lead the different arms of the church to ensure her numerical, relational, financial, and spiritual wellbeing. This wellbeing is evidenced in a free flow of orderliness and perfection during the church services and programme, and her onward progress.
A worker is someone who recognises that he/she is hand-picked by God from among others to bear fruit for Him (John 15:16).
(B) HIS RESPONSIBILITIES: HIS JOB DESCRIPTIONS
The following are the responsibilities of workers in the church:
(From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48b )
1. An assistant pastor in his own capacity.
A worker is simply someone who represents and assists his pastor in his department.
He holds the fort for the pastor when the need arises to ensure that every gap is closed for the smooth running of the church. He can take urgent decisions on behalf of the pastor in his own capacity.
ii). He takes responsibility.
A worker is not just like every other member of the church, rather he shoulders a higher responsibility. When anything goes wrong, a worker takes responsibility just like the pastor, because he is a co-labourer, a burden bearer, and a shoulder-lifter of his pastor.
iii). He is a cheerleader
A worker as an assistant pastor is a cheerleader who supports the vision of the leaders/ pastor of his church. It is paramount in the responsibility of a worker to identify and support the vision of his church.
2. Embarks on evangelism. (Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 15:16-18, Act 1:8). The first responsibility of every child of God is the great commission, which is given to us by our saviour Jesus Christ. No matter his/ her department, witnessing for Christ is a worker’s primary assignment. Any worker who is not a soul winner is not being fruitful, neither is he fulfilling his divine mandate.
3. Ensures proper organisation.
A worker invests so much in the organisation of his church because the smooth running of his department and the church at large is his priority. To be fully organised, he invests his time and his intellects (he is the first to come to church and the last to leave).
4. A good ambassador of his church
Just as an ambassador represents his country of origin in his host nation, so a worker is the represntative of his church wherever he finds himself. Since they are at the frontline, people are quick to draw conclusions about a church from their workers’ conducts. Thus we easily hear, ‘they are not serious in that church, I know an usher, or chorister there who does this or that’. This is because it is assumed that whatever he does or says has the backing of the church.
ii. Image maker of his church
Just as the public relations officer of a given company markets their products and the good image of their company, so are the workers of any church expected to market the good image of their church. It is his responsibility to loud the good side of his church.
5. He ensures the security of the rearward of his church
He is very sensitive to any error or loophole in his church, and he does his best to cover their weak side from the prying eyes of the critics.
6. He is a Pacesetter to other members.
The quality of a worker’s character and maturity is usually used as a yard stick by other members to measure their own spirituality. He is expected to be a man or woman of good conduct and intergrity.
7. Mediates between the members and the church leadership.
A worker is the mediator between the members of the church and the Pastor. When the pastor cannot be reached, the worker as the mediator is usually easily accessible, and he conveys the message from the members to the pastor and vice versa, without truncating the essence of the message in transit.
8. A well of knowledge.
Because a worker is someone with higher responsibilities and always on the frontline, he is expected to be a well of knowledge. It is assumed he is well-informed and has answers to every question ranging from the origin of the church, it’s doctrines, the word of God, etc.
C. QUALIFICATIONS OF A WORKER (Galatians 5:22-23)
Having looked at the responsibilities of a worker and his job descriptions, we can deduct that being a worker demands strict qualities based on the nine fruit of the spirit : Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, & Self-Control, for it is only against such there is no law. Below are some of non-negotiable qualifications that a worker MUST possess.
1. Assurance of salvation (John 4:22, Prov 15:8)
*Assurance of salvation is the number one and the most important qualification, since you must have a relationship with the Saviour before you work for Him.
*This is because the sacrifice of a sinner is an abomination to God.
*So a sinner has nothing to do in the workforce for the following reasons :
i. He will offer strange offering
ii. He will pollute others and attract a curse (the case of Achan in Joshua 7).
iii. He will bring reproach to the name of God since he is expected to be a pacesetter.
2. Holiness /Purity-2Tim 2:20-21
-It is only in holiness that God can use a man maximally.
-2 Timothy 2:21 emphasizes that «if you keep yourself pure, you will be utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work ».
– Holiness is the only virtue that gives a man unquestionable intergrity( intergrity=good track record), despite his background.
* A worker must not live in immorality nor in any kind of habitual sin.
3. Willingness. (2 Cor. 9:7, Isaiah 1:19)
-God does not force us against our will to work for Him, therefore, any man who will work for God must do it willingly.
-It is only when we do it with all our heart without being compelled and cajoled that we can receive our full reward. « If you are willing and obedient, the best crops in the land will be yours » Isaiah 1:19.
4. Availability. (Luke 10:2).
-Willingness to do the work of God is incomplete if there is no availability.
-Availability is surrendering yourself, being present to do the work.
-It is very sacrificial because here lies the discipline and the hard work, and only a dedicated few is found here.
-Any worker who cannot be fully available is not qualified for the work despite his expertise.
5. Committment/Dedication (Luke 9:62, John 4:34-35)
-A worker must be committed/dedicated to the work that is assigned to him.
-When a man is passionate about his assignment and treats it as a ministry, he will do everything within his ability to accomplish it.
-Obstacles will mean nothing to him, because he is committed to achieving his goal.
-Jesus was so committed to His cause that He referred to it as food (John 4:34)
6. Zealous/Energetic (Nehemiah 8:10)
-He is full of life and puts zest in what he does because he does it with joy.
-Because of this outstanding gait with which he carries out his duties, he exhibits a fine outlook of professionalism at his duty post.
-He doesn’t render his services with any iota of clumsiness nor half-heartedness.
7. Humility/Simplicity (Philipians 2:5-8, 1 Pet 5:5)
-A worker must be humble, down-to-earth, and selfless.
-He must be very simple and easy to relate with.
-He is not complicated, touchy, and difficult to work with.
-A proud worker, through his conducts, will push people away instead of drawing them to Christ. -Thus he will literally scatter the church that he is expected to help to build.
8. Empathic (Matthew 15:32)
-A worker must be considerate, and should be able to put himself in the shoe of others.
-Jesus didn’t want to send his listeners home hungry because He considered that they could faint on the way.
-He should be able to puts himself in the pastors’ place, the members’ place, the fellow workers’ place, while taking his decisions, thus not erratic nor selfish in his decision making.
9. Cultured/ Courteous (1 Kings 10:4-5)
-A worker must be a man or woman of refined taste and manners, civilised, cultivated, polished character. He is not noisy,violent, rough, quarrelsome, nor erratic.
-Rather he is polite, respectful, well mannered, well behaved and good tempered.
10. Sacrificial (Luke 9:23-24, Philipians 1:21)
-A worker’s ultimate goal is to live and please His master, therefore no price is too much for Him to pay.
-He is always available, not because his diary is the freest, but he has forsaken himself and is carrying his cross to follow God.
-When he offers his time, services, money, objects, he does it selflessly and sacrificially, not a matter of convenience.
11. Discret (James 1:19)
-He must not only be a good listener, but also a keeper of secret.
– He is not a rumour monger, rather any secret shared with him is safe and confidential
12. Wise (Daniel 1:20)
-A worker must have good sense of reasoning and good judgement.
-He must be rational in thinking to an extent.
-This quality helps him to know and maintains his limit in speech and conduct.
-He is apt and decisive, thus must be able to take a decision/think on his feet
13. Reliable/Trust worthy (Mat. 5:37, Ruth 1 🙂
-A worker is someone that can be trusted, someone you can count on no matter what.
-He is dependable and confidential.He is not like an air that you cannot hold on to.
-When he is with you, you are sure he is with you, and when he gives his word, it is binding.
14.Teachability/Accomodating (Psalm 139:23-24, Prov 12:1, Luke 19:8)
-He must be ready to learn from others.
-He must be open to changes and easily adapt to new things, and always willing to adjust.
-He must be corrigible (accept his mistakes) for no one is above mistakes.
-He must accommodate and tolerate others and bear with them.This is one of the greatest signs of maturity.
15. Punctuality /Assiduity (Eph 5:15-16, 1 Cor 14:40)
-He keeps to time, he comes early to programmes, because that programme is his/her responsibility. -And he understands that punctuality is as important as his assiduity, and that they are all part of his sacrifice to God.
MODULE 2. A WORKER AND HIS CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS.
Every job has its hazards (challenges) and their gains (benefits), working for God is not in any way an exception. Thus in this module, we will be investigating what the possible challenges of a church worker are. However, though there are challenges, there are also inestimable benefits of working for God, and we will be uncovering them here too.
A. Challenges Of Being A Worker (Psalm 34:19, Ephesians 6:12-18).
It is worthy of note that because a church worker is always in the limelight, many are his challenges, such as :
1. Betrayal by false brethren
– A church worker over the centuries have suffered a lot in the hands of false brethren. These are wolves in sheep clothing.
– They have been betrayed and criticised by these false brethren who come to church just to find faults.
2. False accusations/Misunderstanding
– They are constantly accused and judged of ulterior motives, power usurping, and many other kinds of scandals by their fellow brethren.
– Moses was constantly a victim of such treatment (Num 16:41-42)
3. Obstinate and unruly people.
-These people are difficult to rule and they make the work frustrating for their leader.
-They complain a lot yet they do nothing to better any situation
-They rarely or never submit to any authority
4. Pressure/high demands
– Workers are active players in the game of life and not spectactors. And just as in any game, spectactors notice the faults of the players, more than the player himself, the workers are exposed to constant criticisms of the passive people around them.
– A worker is expected to shoulder people’s problems all the time, and no one considers his own personal problems.
– While so much is expected of them, people hardly celebrate their achievements but quick to loud their mistakes.
5. No life of his own
– A worker is a bound servant of God, so his convenience, choice, freedom, pleasure, etc is always compromised.
– And because he practically has no life of his own, he doesn’t respond to every criticism, even when he would have wanted to (Isaiah 53:7).
B. Benefits Of Being A Worker (Matthew 20, Psalm 92:12-14)
Though the challenges of being a worker are so enormous, the benefits outweigh them. The people who ran this race before us suffered untold hardships and unimaginable persecutions, to the extent of cruel deaths, yet they held on because of the glorious benefits in view. Jesus our perfect example endured the death on the cross because of the glory set before Him (Eph 2:8-9).
We will consider some of these benefits:
1. Spiritual Growth
– One of the outstanding reward of being a worker is his tremendous spiritual growth.
– Due to all the demands placed on him, every genuine worker trains, learns, and grows from them.
– Compare him with an ordinary member who got born again the same time with him, a worker out grows him spiritually.
2. Increase In Grace/Wisdom
– A worker is furnished with extra grace and wisdom on a daily basis. This explains why he can do and handle so many things without breaking down.
3. Identifies And develops His call
– A worker is blessed with the privilege of identifying and developing his call. He does not grope in darkness, rather he is focused and pursues his life mission in his place of service.
4. Stands Out (Matt 5:14)
– A worker is made a lighthouse of his congregation/ generation. God causes his life to standout in every good thing.
5. Leadership Ticket With Christ (2 Tim 2:12a, Rev 20:4, Rev 5:10).
– Jesus promises those who labour with him leadership ticket to reign with Him in His kingdom.
6. Enjoys Divine Presence .
– He carries God’s presence wherever he goes, like Moses before Pharoah, Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon and in the Lion’s den, and the apostles in the book of Acts.
– God promises him, « I will neither leave nor forsake you. » Joshua 1:5
7. Divine provision /answer to prayer (Psalm 34:10, Psalm 50 :15).
– God promises His servants answer to their prayers and His divine provision to those who serve Him.
8. Eternal Reward (Phil 3:14, Matt 16:27, Daniel 12:3)
-There is a time for reward for all our labour on this part of eternity with different kinds of crowns.
– Apostle Paul encourages us that our labour in Christ is not in vain (1 Cor 15:58).
9. Life Eternal (Matt 19:29, 10:39)
– A worker’s eternal life is guaranteed as he endures to the end.
MODULE 3 : A WORKER AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT
A church, just like any other organisation is exposed to the different kinds of crises ranging from social, economical, spiritual, health, and psychological issues. So a worker knowing how to identify and handle these crises at the right time is a big advantage.
A. Definition Of Crisis Management
We will define crisis management as the process undertaken by any organization to prevent, prepare for, and respond to events that threaten to harm people or property, seriously interrupt operations, damage reputation, or impact the bottom line. Crises cost you money, hurt productivity, and can easily threaten the long-term health of your business, especially if you aren’t ready.
For the interest of this study therefore, Crisis management in the church simply implies the steps taken by the pastors, ministers, workers, or the church leadership to prevent, prepare against, and to handle any situation that poses a threat to the spiritual, numerical. material, social, physical and the mental wellbeing of the church and her members.
The Three Core Stages Of Managing Crisis.
i) Pre-Crisis (preparedness and prevention)
-At this stage, there is no crisis yet, but one prepares in advance by anticipating the possible situations that could breed crises, and taking decisive steps to prevent them from occuring.
– When you are well furnished before the crisis, you will not be taken unawares, rather you will be more disposed spiritually, mentally, and otherwise than if you hadn’t known.
* Many workers have left the workforce, some even left the church because they were unprepared for the crisis. While some churches have closed down because of this same problem.
Crisis Response (actually managing the crisis)
Here, there is already a problem so we apply the knowledge we acquired to successfully manage the crisis and get it under control.
– The ability to manage crisis well and abruptly saves the church from unimaginable casulties, and ushers her to all round growth (numerically, spiritually, etc).
Post-Crisis (recovery and analysis, integrating lessons learned).
At this point, the crisis is over, it is one’s ability to successfully recover from the problem by analysis the crisis and applying the lessons learnt for the benefit of the company.
B. The Place Of A Worker In The Face Of Crisis
Crises in life as well as in the church vary in types and sizes, and so do their solutions. Therefore, all problems must not be handled the same way. One of the greatest challenges about crises is that they usually come when they are least expected.
Things To Watchout For Against Crisis:
1. Any time you are planing a programme (major or minor)
2. When there is an introduction of a new system /project
3. Admission of a new member to the department.
4. Appreciation/Rebuke of a particular behaviour.
5. When the church experiences a major breakthrough – numerically, finacially, etc.
6. Personal concerns (Weddings, child naming, birthday celebrations, funerals,….)
7. Appointment of a new post.
Below are the common problems/crises a worker could meet while performing his duties in the church. He must remain courteous and calm as much as possible in the face of all these.
a. Gossip/rumour mongering
– Solution 1
(Handle it) –(i) Discard any unfounded information, and treat is as gossip.
(ii) Ask the carrier for tangible evidence.
(iii) Even with all the evidences, tell the carrier that you will confront the person in question.
Depending on the seriousness of the case, report it to the pastor.
When there is an acrimony between the members of your department :
i) Find out the source of the offence without taking sides.
ii) Do all within your capacity to settle it amicably, without bias.
Depending on the seriousness of the case, report it to the pastor.
c. Facing false accusations
– Report to the pastor as soon as possible.
iv. Nonchalance attitude/disrepect
a) Rebuke the person in question at the department level.
b) Apply any existing disciplinary measures
Report to the pastor.
Report to the Pastor as soon as possible.
Report to the Pastor as soon as possible.
vii. False prophecies /visions/dreams
Report to the pastor’s desk as soon as possible
Note – Dangers of lack of crisis management skill
*Without a plan you’re more likely to be viewed as incompetent, liars, or outrightly bad people.
*Without a plan you’re guaranteed to lose more members than you needed to.
*Without a plan you’re going to make more mistakes (even in the future).
MODULE 4: A WORKER AND DISCIPLINARY MEASURES/ THE FINAL WORD
There are certain disciplinary measures put in place as checks and balances to workers.
Disciplinary measures are calculated steps taken by the church authority to correct and discipline workers who live in error, in order to deter and discourage the undesirable attitude. Thus, a worker who falls below the church’s expectations of him will face certain disciplinary measures. The disciplinary measure could be minor, moderate, and severe.
The Aim (Gal.6:1, Eph 5:11)
-The aim is to keep the church in check as a bride without spot nor wrinkle( Eph 5:27).
-To avoid contaminating others (Gal 5:9)
-To set an examples from others/discourage sin(1 Tim 5:20)
Types Of Disciplinary Measures
– When a worker doesn’t contribute financially to the church by not paying his tithe nor any oher financial responsibilities/commitments.
– When a worker seems as misfit in his/her place of service.
– When there is a certain subtle undesirable attitude in a worker
2. Rebuke (Luke 17:3)
When it is done for the first time and involuntarily.
3. Suspension (1 Cor 5:5, Titus 3:10)
Voluntarily and habitual sinner
4. Excommunication (Romans 16:17, 1 cor 5:11)
Obstinate and unrepentant sinner
THE FINAL WORD.
For some reasons such as relocation, marriage, personal issues, etc, a worker may have to leave the church where he has been serving faithfully. It is usually a very difficult time both for the worker and the church. As a worker, you are expected to do the following :
– Ensure that you inform the church leaders, for it’s more honourable and Christ-like (don’t just disappear).
– Do not spread your hate (in the case of misunderstanding) as you want to leave, because you cannot afford to destroy what you have built over time. Remember, you have laboured here, you deserve a blessing not a curse.
– If you leave peaceably, you will be missed and remembered with pleasant memories.
– Feel free to come back after leaving if you so desire, the door is always open for you.