God asks the church to be a community of people sharing a common purpose and fellowship, continually growing in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Paul describes the church as Christ’s “body” (Ephesians 1:22).
The church is a kingdom of priests set free to minister for Christ. Our priesthood is to each other within the church and to the world. Every Christian believer is called to ministry and, in baptism, ordained for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). You should view your work for the church as a ministry to which God has called you; it is His will operating in your life.
God supplies each person in the church with the resources for ministry—scripture, spiritual power, God’s character, and spiritual gifts. You are equipped for your ministry by gifts received from the Holy Spirit. These spiritual gifts are special abilities given to make your ministry effective and build up the body of Christ.
Duties of the Interest / Prospect Care Coordinator
Whether you are prospect care coordinator or work as interest coordinator in your church, the duties are the same:
1. Gather names. Systematically get the name of every person who visits on Sabbath, attends a seminar or group, phones or writes for information, requests prayer, contacts the media ministries or gets a missionary magazine. Double check each name to sort out church members and discover previous involvement.
2. Make contacts. Use the telephone to contact each person. Did they get the information or help they wanted? How did it meet their expectations? How did they happen to know about the program? What motivated them to attend, call or write? The local church prospect care coordinator is an official field representative for each and every Adventist program, and this is how you help the church provide better “customer service” to the public.
3. Listen for needs. A prospect care coordinator must develop good listening skills. If you are a good listener, people will feel free to share their stories with you. As you listen, your mind learns to sort the information given by each person into workable categories: religious background, present spiritual condition, emotional, family, health and economic needs.
4. Establish readiness. The contacts made by the prospect care coordinator are called “evaluation interviews” because the purpose of the conversation is to find out how we can minister to the person. Is there a pressing social or physical need that must be met? What is his attitude toward the message and activities of the Adventist Church? Will he accept a visit? Is he ready to enter into serious Bible study or participate in Christian fellowship? What can your church do for this person?
The readiness of an individual is coded on the following scale: “A” means they are ready for a visit by a pastor and will probably attend church or evangelistic meetings; “B+” means they are ready for Bible studies, either one-to-one or in a small group; “B-” means they are ready to take a Bible correspondence course; “C” means they want more literature on a particular question or help with a particular problem, but are not ready for Bible study. The names of those with no interest are file separately.
5. Make referrals. As you listen to each person, a nurturing plan made especially for them begins to form. This is the next step after your conversation to keep them growing in their spiritual journey. Is there a particular piece of literature they should have? Is there a specific person who should visit them? Is there a seminar or small group they should attend? Is there a tape they should hear or a video they should see? In each interview you have only a few minutes to create this plan while they talk, so it is essential that you have quick information and a good supply of materials right at hand. You will need a listing of resources that can meet emotional, economic, health and spiritual needs.
6. Maintain the list. The work of the prospect care coordinator will require some clerical organization to keep names in a prospect list. They must be coded so that specialized mailings can be sent to those with various interests and needs. Additional clerical help may be needed. A computer would be more efficient in larger churches. It is essential that every name kept on the list be sent a missionary magazine subscription and mailings from your church about seminars, etc.
Responsibilities in the Local Church, by the Church Resources Consortium, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist Church. Copyright © 1997, Revised 2002.