Tennessee Ministry Leaders
A proposed mobilization of Christian Leaders First Responders using innovative technology to give free high-quality ministry training in Tennessee.
Key Goal is to train and empower more Christian leaders to bring a stronger and more vibrant Christianity in Tennessee. Through the support of the Maclellan family, Christian Leaders Ministries can provide more leaders with training and ordination opportunities.
Mobilization Staffing Models for Ministry
Christian Leaders Ministries uses a similar model for training ministry leaders as the fire department uses for staffing their firefighters.
In the United States, fire departments mobilize teams of trained and certified firefighters. The number of services needed primarily determines the staffing model for fire departments. In towns and rural areas, a volunteer fire department serves the needs of those communities. Fewer people and buildings, less demand for firefighting services. In cities, a career type of staffing model is necessary. More people and buildings, more need for firefighting services.
In the United States, there are over 42,000 fire departments (Source: Firedepartment.net). If you click around at Firedepartment.net, you can click to a map in your area and find out about the location of your local fire department.
There are 1,092 Fire Departments and Fire Stations in Tennessee.
Fire Departments are needed as everybody knows. Fire Departments typically fall into three categories: Volunteer, Part-time (Bi-Vocational) and Full-time (Career).
Types of Firefighters and Ministry Leaders
1. Non-paid Volunteer Firefighters: Volunteer fire departments are the bedrock of fire and rescue services. Throughout the USA, the vast number of fire departments are volunteers. Many fire departments are completely volunteering with no one getting financial support beyond any incurred expense. The firefighters in these types of departments have other careers that support the needs of their families.
Crow Creek Fire Department in Sherwood, Tennessee
The Crow Creek Fire Department is entirely volunteer. Notice that volunteers, even administrative staffing, serve this entire department.
Volunteer Ministry Leaders: Volunteers are the backbone of many ministries. Without faithful volunteers, churches and nonprofit organizations would be unable to provide the services they offer.
Volunteers can serve in homeless ministry, prison ministry, church outreach programs, chaplaincy, pastoral care, small group leaders and many other ministry roles.
Christian Leaders Ministries recognizes the value of volunteers as they are leading in various capacities. It is essential that volunteers receive high-quality training to serve the Lord and their communities well.
2. Bi-vocational Firefighters: Bi-vocational fire departments are also considered “volunteer” fire departments. In these fire departments, the firefighters are paid part-time salaries that will be reported as “income” for services completed. The firefighters in these types of departments have other careers that support the needs of their families.
Christian Leaders Institute is located in Spring Lake, Michigan. This fire department represents the bi-vocational staffing model.
Spring Lake Township Volunteer Fire Department, Spring Lake Michigan
Spring Lake Township Fire Department has a small administrative staff that supports bi-vocational firefighters.
Bi-vocational Ministry Leaders: Many Christian leaders serve in a part-time ministry role. While they have a career that supports them and their families, they also dedicate time to ministry.
For example, an elementary school teacher may also be the worship leader or secretary of their local church.
Christian Leaders Ministries again sees how critical it is for these bi-vocational leaders to have proper ministry training as they show and share the love of Christ in many different ministries.
3. Vocational (Career) Firefighters. At a career fire department, all the firefighters and staff are full-time staff personnel. Chattanooga has a more dense population. This fire department has staffed and mobilized a team of fire and rescue professionals who usually receive full-time salaries.
In fire departments like Chattanooga, the need for fire and rescue services necessitate a career fire department. There is much to do because the population and amount of work go beyond the scope of a volunteer fire department. The fire department is paid for from local property taxes.
Vocational (Career) Ministry Leaders: Christian leaders are called into full-time, vocational ministry. Examples of this would be the role of the senior pastor, church planter, chaplain, Apostolic Bishop. There are also churches that have the resources to support many career roles, like Harbor Side Christian Church in Clearwater, Florida. This training is encouraged for career homegrown ministry leaders.
Christian Leaders Ministries provides the opportunity for high-quality ministry training to anyone who feels called to pursue vocational ministry without the heavy burden of student loans.
Firefighters and Christian Leaders
Firefighters regardless of if they are volunteer, part-time or full-time, the training program for all three status’ is extensive. Whether the firefighters are full-time or volunteer the stakes are too high for the firefighters to be poorly trained.
The stakes are also too high for ministry leaders to be poorly trained. So whether they are volunteer, bi-vocational or vocational they need to have sound doctrine as they are a witness for Christ and bring revival to their communities.
Like the need for local firefighters with local fire stations, more Christian leaders are needed, and more local churches and ministries are needed in every community.
The staffing approach in the early church looked much like how fire departments are staffed. New apostolic work was staffed and started through volunteers. As the church expanded, the capacity for part-time and full-time salaries was supported by the patronage system in place. The patronage system in the ancient Roman empire primarily consisted of wealthy Christians who supported the expansion of Christianity. (Read the article on Patronage from Ministry Magazine)
Christianity Staffing Models for Christian Leader Expansion
Historically, the growth of Christianity has risen with volunteers, bi-vocational, and vocational Christian leaders. Each local church or ministry has had different combinations of volunteers, part-time, and career Christian leaders. The church grew and reached people in every rank and in different demographic and cultural locations aided by a staffing operating system that adjusted to the local missional need.
If the local missional need was introducing Christianity, like in the early church, the staffing operating system adjusted the combination of volunteers and part-time or full-time ministers. The initial staffing operating system was based on calling and gifts.
Take Ephesians 4:11-13
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In the early church, most of these roles were filled by volunteers as Christianity entered locations. Over time enough critical ministry mass appeared to necessitate part-time and career staffing.
The Apostle Paul started as a volunteer after his call to salvation and ministry. He was a tent-maker who needed to support some or all of his personal needs as he served in the role of Apostle.
After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Acts 18:1-3
As Paul developed a network of mature leaders to serve in local ministry roles, he was supported by patrons, individuals like Philemon and local house churches. In the last years of his life, patronage supported the renting of a home in Rome as he continued doing ministry.
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 28:30-31
We know that by this time, he was entirely a career ministry apostle encouraging and raising up others to preach the gospel.
Challenges to Rapid Growth
The early church multiplied, especially with people of lower ranks in the Roman empire. The church proliferated without a defined canon of scripture. There were not clear doctrines about positions like the Trinity or the Person of Christ. Also, the underlying message of Christianity was introduced quickly by different leaders who emphasized different perspectives, such as Jewish or Gentile. The personality of the Apostle John was very different from the nature of the Apostle Peter. Therefore, there were misunderstandings and synchronization of local beliefs and practices.
Early Doctrinal Differences
Even in the time of the Apostle Paul, Christian leaders like Apollos showed up. He had holes in his doctrine. He only knew about Jesus from one of John the Baptist’s disciples. He was teaching about Jesus with incomplete knowledge. Priscilla and Aquila gave him ministry training to update his doctrine.
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervora]”>[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Acts 18:24-26
Synchronization has also been a threat to Christianity. Religious syncretism blends two or more religious beliefs or practice systems into a new method of belief or practice.
One of the admirable traits of Christianity is that its message, walk, and practice addresses the need of the human condition in every culture, in every rank, in every race, in every time. In the early church, this did not always work well. The church multiplied without a clear understanding of doctrine and life. This unclarity gave rise to many misguided expressions of Christianity mixed with pagan beliefs or practice.
Dr. Stephen Benko wrote Pagan Rome and Early Christians. He pointed out how non-orthodox practices or unclarified doctrines hurt the spread of Christianity. He talked about how the name “Christian” was associated with things like secret marks, corrupt practices (such as the Nicolaitans mentioned in Revelation 2:6 and 15), cannibalism, and other controversial positions.
It appears that second-century Christian apologists oversimplified matters when they asserted that the people associated nothing bad with the Christian name. (Benko. p.4 Pagan Rome and Early Christians)
Benko concludes his book by saying that as educated Christian leaders engaged with the Roman culture, a clear understanding of Christianity developed “prompted” by many dialogues in the second century.
What does all this discussion have to do with today? By the time the Christian Bible was established, a ministry training system had developed in the church that bore much fruit. Christian leaders like Augustine and others addressed the needs of a rapidly expanding church that has stood the test of time. The church education system eventually became more set up for career ministers.
High-quality training has not been easily accessible until now. With the invention of the internet, formal ministry training is opened up to anyone who has access to the internet.
This access opens up the possibility to blur the clergy/laity distinction. It opens up new opportunities to train called Christian leaders for volunteer or part-time roles. They can become ordained as ministers with the same type of training career ministers receive.
Local churches and ministries will be blessed by well-trained and ordained volunteer, part-time, or career ministers. Christian Leaders Ministries is already mobilizing Christian leaders for this exciting opportunity.
How can we raise up more Tennessee Christian Leaders?
Tenessee is the 16th most populated state in the USA with a population of 6,770,010 (2018). With so many people needing the Word of God brought to them we need to raise up more Christian leaders.
Christian Leaders Institute would like to bring more revival to Tennesee in partnership with the Maclellan Family Foundations.
The Christian Influence is Strong
Tennessee and Alabama are the only two states where a majority of the population say they attend church regularly,
Alabama and Tennessee, at 51%, were the only other states in the country with a majority of respondents who said they attended church on a weekly basis, and the Bible Belt is largely the most religious region in the nation. Source: Church Attendance By State: How Does Your State Stack Up?
The Maclellan family and Christian Leaders Ministries both realize that the stakes are high for Tennessee to continue to be a leader for the Christian movement.
Christian Leaders Ministries and the Maclellan family realize that more Christian leaders are needed. These leaders need to be career (vocational), part-time (bi-vocational) and volunteer ministers.
Tennessee Pilot Projects
Over 20,000 graduates have completed at least one ministry training award worldwide. Almost 330 have completed ministry training in Tennessee. Over 35 have been locally ordained with the Christian Leaders Alliance. These ministries graduates have mainly been reached since 2014. This grassroots approach is similar to the method of 50 AD, where new leaders were being recruited and mobilized. The beginnings of a structure were developing. By 150 AD, the work of the apostle Paul and others had developed a sustaining infrastructure led by Apostolic Bishops who were maximizing more orderly growth and accountability.
Christian Leaders Ministries proposes we seek to identify, train, and mobilize Christian leaders of every rank with ministry training and ordination. This pilot project will serve to learn how to maximize our relationship in other states or other parts of the world.
AD 50 Grassroot Volunteers Proposal
Develop and manage online landing pages and online advertisements to raise up trained ministry leaders.
This opportunity could have a Tennessee focus. It could have a Chattanooga focus or both. We propose using Facebook ads to identify, train, ordain (if needed), and mobilize a significant number of new Christian leaders. Accurate reporting on the amount will be documented and shared.
Budget for Tenessee Grassroots Campaign: August 1, 2019 – July 30, 2020
Budget for Adding a Chattanooga Focus (August 1, 2019-July 30, 2020)
Total for Tennessee Grassroots Mobilization: $149,000
I look forward to reviewing this possibility to launch a significant number of new trained and possibly ordained Christian Leaders in Tennessee.
We will learn much!