5 Steps To Successfully Launch A New Ministry At Your Church
Before joining the Vanderbloemen team, I worked on staff at a church of about 400 people with three full-time and two part-time employees. Because of the nature of ministry in a smaller church (though size is always relative), each of us on staff wore several different hats and were usually carrying more than was initially assigned to us in our job description. While we were always glad to chip in however we could and happy to do the work, the amount that we each were carrying made it very difficult to start any new ministries. This was especially difficult when we had to let go of great ideas that could really serve our community because we weren’t able to turn them into reality for whatever reason.
Here are 5 steps that we found helpful in getting a new ministry off the ground.
1. Identify a need.
One of the things we often had to identify in any new ministry idea was whether it was something that actually met a need in our community or if it was just a cool idea that we had. The reality is that as communities of finite beings with finite resources and finite time, we cannot do everything and must prioritize how we make use of what God has given us. When thinking about a potential new ministry ask yourself these questions: What need does it meet? Why do we want to pursue this opportunity? What benefits will this bring to our community?
2. Identify a point person.
For a new ministry to succeed, someone needs to own it. When starting a new ministry in your context, find someone who can be the point person, take responsibility, and ensure the project moves forward no matter what. This person will be the champion of the ministry, reminding everyone why it’s important. Because of this, they must fully understand the vision of the ministry, believe in it, and want to see it come to fruition. Asking the questions from the first step will help in this process.
3. Create a gameplan and action steps.
Once you have a point person for the new ministry, come up with a gameplan with them to make the vision of the new ministry a reality. It is important that your point person is a part of this stage because they will actually be the ones who are on the front lines doing the work, so involving them will help lead to a successful new ministry. Pinpoint potential challenges, and make sure your plan has realisitic and measurable steps. For instance, a typical action step would be “recruit volunteers.” A better action step would be, “recruit 4 volunteers for set up and 6 volunteers as table leaders by June 16th.”
4. Set goals and evaluate.
After your plan is in place, make sure to set measurable goals in order to gauge the success of your ministry. This shouldn’t be solely to determine whether or not the ministry is a “success” or “failure,” but rather to determine how the new ministry is doing in order to make adjustments and improvements. Perhaps you will realize you don’t need as many volunteers or that another night of the week might work better.
5. Celebrate victories.
Furthermore, set milestones for your new ministry to celebrate victories along the way. Take everyone out to lunch after your first semester, or throw a big party on the new ministry’s first full year. Share stories of how the ministry has impacted your community and met the needs you both planned for and those you didn’t. This will build momentum in your community to start new ministries, encourage people to join the work God is doing in your church, and build a positive morale overall.
What steps would you add? How have you seen new ministries make a difference in your church?
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