Seeing that “10% of the people do 90% of the work,” the pastor and board of a local church came up with a “ministry emphasis” campaign in an attempt to reverse the trend.  The stated objective of the six-week “Every Member a Minister” (EMAM) campaign was to “equip and encourage everyone in Boulder Creek Community Church to take an active role in the life of this church and to fully engage in ministry.”

Sermons were preached.  Curricula-coordinated Sunday school classes were taught.  Small groups formed, prayer groups prayed.  Telephone trees were activated.  Spiritual gift inventories were distributed.  Logos were designed.  EMAM T-shirts, fridge magnets, pens, erasers, postcards and bookmarks were passed out like jelly beans on Easter Sunday.  Special events were planned.  A massive publicity/promotional blitz swung into motion.  Ministry leaders were urged to come up with written job descriptions for each role or responsibility in their area.    Thousands of volunteer hours were poured into the effort, culminating in a three-day Ministry Faire.

The goal of the fair was to offer ministry opportunities and information to the waiting throngs so that they, now properly preached, Sunday-schooled, small-grouped, educated, publicized and promoted, would surge forward, engage, and ratchet the life of Boulder Creek Community up by a factor of a zillion.  Or more.

EMAM sank like the Titanic.

Not only did EMAM organizers, planners and promoters wind up exhausted and burnt-out to a crispy crunch, they were also disillusioned when the campaign made no perceptible impact or difference in the life of the church.  Zero. Zip. Nada.

A month after the EMAM campaign folded, all that remained of the gusto and glitz was an empty echo.   Why?

Stay tuned for some possible answers in Part 2: Building Codes.