I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been approached by a person in our church with an idea to “start a ministry.” You know what I mean. “We need a men’s ministry at our church.” or “We should have a seniors’ ministry here.”
Our response always boils down to our belief that anything we’re going to call a “ministry” has to have someone “with skin on them” to lead it. It has to be lead well, be part of our overall strategy, and have the resources to be successful. As most of us know, resources are scarce and the need must be significant to justify the commitment of resources.
So, we often respond with, “Interesting idea, why not start and lead a group first, and we’ll see how it goes?” It’s possible that we’re talking to the future staff leader of a new ministry, but if they’re not passionate enough about their “ministry starting idea” to recruit people to join a group and to lead the group, then they’re probably not the future ministry leader. Do you know what I mean?
Here’s a six-step process for starting a ministry:
- Start a Group – Have the person stepping up to communicate the need, demonstrate their commitment to their idea through their ownership and leadership of getting a group started.
- Start More Groups – A healthy group should be able to identify and develop a few additional leaders that should be encouraged to start groups of their own. If there’s really a need for this new area of “ministry,” before you know it you’ll have a number of groups up and running all ministering to the needs of the particular area originally identified as a need. If not, either there’s not as large a need as originally thought, or the wrong point-leader(s) are in place.
- Recruit Leaders – Any healthy future ministry area begins with lots of leadership types, all interested in helping in the same (or related) area. Right?
- Host Connection Events – Here’s the fun part! All of the groups that are now up and running are coming together to plan, coordinate, and conduct/host lots of connection events, of course resulting in more groups.
- Start More Groups – You guessed it! Keep starting new small groups of people all doing the same thing. For example, if the original idea was to “start a men’s ministry,” depending on the size of the church there should be a significant percentage of men participating in one way or another in and around a growing “men’s groups” ministry.
- Identify a Point Leader – Now this growing, successful, fun, etc. area of groups should yield a couple of excellent, potential staff members. When the budget allows, bring on a part-time leader and call it a ministry!
At this point, hundreds are involved in leading and participating. Now we’ve got a ministry!
I know this isn’t “rocket science.” Come to think of it, isn’t this how churches are started?