by Erin Bird

If someone compiled a list of famous “last words” uttered before the speaker was nominated for the Darwin Awards , I’m sure the list would contain phrases like…

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]”What could possibly go wrong?”[/list_item]
[list_item]”Don’t worry, I’ve done this before.”[/list_item]
[list_item]”Everything will be fine!”[/list_item]
[list_item]”But I read it on the Internet!”[/list_item]

Without a doubt, though, somewhere on that list would be the words, “Trust me.”

Really! Trust me!

We are in a series here on the blog about The Riverwood Way. And this week we come to “…extends Trust.”

The response to “Trust me” depends on the person saying the words. When spoken with a smirk, doubt lingers. But when spoken with eyes of love, these words can be incredibly reassuring.

At Riverwood, we want to reassure others that God can use them. We want to have a culture where we entrust ministry to others, trusting they can do just as good of a job as us, or possibly even better. But often, when we encourage someone to use their FIST (Finances, Influence, Skills, & Time), we need to tell them “trust me.” So, here’s how YOU can live this value out at Riverwood and in life:

1. Be involved.

Before you can entrust others to do something, you usually have to have some knowledge of the area yourself. Which means, if you’ve never run sound before, you probably can’t tell someone “trust me” and entrust the sound ministry to them.

So first, get involved. Find an area you enjoy or want to help with. That’s step one of entrusting ministry to others.

2. Invite

Our culture of invitation at Riverwood isn’t just for asking someone to come to a Sunday Worship Gathering or your Growth Group. It is also for inviting others to serve with you. Invite someone to come do set-up with you, or greet at the door with you, or serve at the Food Bank with you. To entrust ministry to someone else doesn’t just happen. It begins with an invitation.

3. Hand it over

After you’ve gotten someone to start serving with you, begin giving them opportunities to serve without you. Here’s a great “system” for handing ministry off to someone else:

1. I do, you watch, we talk.
2. I do, you help, we talk.
3. You do, I help, we talk.
4. You do, I watch, we talk.
5. You do, You invite someone else to watch, you two talk, while I invite someone else to do the process as well.

There is no area of ministry too small to invite others to learn and serve with you. Yes, we need people to do the “big” things like lead Growth Groups, teach kids, or share the message at our Worship Gatherings. But we also need people passionate about “small” things like creating welcoming environments through food, setting up chairs, or giving the Handouts as people enter to be seated. Every area of ministry truly matters.

A mark of an unhealthy church is when people take over areas of ministry and hold on to it like a dictator does with power. But a healthy church follows Jesus and takes Him at His word when He says (through the Apostle Paul) to take…

“what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

So may we be the church that empowers others to do what God has created them to do, to not horde areas of ministry for ourselves, but to identify those God has gifted and give them opportunities to grow spiritually through service, because Jesus asks us to “Trust Him” that He can use others for His Kingdom.

Trust me on this. 🙂