“A ‘Bass-Ackwards’ Approach to Ministry” by Garris Elkins

by | Dec 22, 2011 | Church, Kingdom of God, Leadership | 3 comments

As a young boy during the summer break from school my dad used to take me along to help out on his construction sites.Dad built houses and he also owned a house moving company. I was always working each summer.

Dad would assign a project to me and then go elsewhere on the job site.Upon his return there would be times dad would say, “Son, you got that one ‘bass-ackwards’.”That famous line meant I was doing something in the reverse order of how it should be done.He would show me my mistake and then share the remedy.He wouldn’t do the work, he simply showed me how to undo the “bass-ackwards” nature of my first attempt.

If dad were here today he would look at how some of us pastors do the ministry and he would say we are turned around.He would say to return to Ephesians and read chapter four again and recognize that our job is to “equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church…”

In fact, dad would go on to say that the growth of the Church is never the pastors responsibility.God grows things that really last.The people you have equipped and built up are the ones who will share their faith and help lead others into a living relationship with God. They will be the ones who invite people to a community of faith to experience spiritual growth and maturity.

I think dad’s view about the “bass-ackwardness” of a young boy’s construction jobs applies to church leadership today.Do your best to equip and build up God’s people. When we make this decision to reorder how we see the ministry, our levels of stress and performance will diminish greatly. The things of life and ministry will then naturally reposition themselves in a healthy God-order that won’t be so “bass-ackward.”


  1. Dave Jacobs

    bass-ackward…love it. I'm going to float this around my network. Thanks Pastor.

  2. Abby / Linda

    Agreed! If God's people understood their own gifting and talents as God-given, then the work of the ministry would be a satifying blessing to all. Our jobs as pastors must be to teach and equip!

  3. ejdonnell

    Well said, appreciate your Blog!


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