A ministry is an environment or an organisation started by one or more people to help meet the spiritual needs of others. Ministries typically specialise and focus on specific populations, such as women, men, children, teens, single parents, homeless individuals and more. The thought of starting a ministry to help a specific group of people may seem satisfying and full of purpose, but there are several things you should know about and consider prior to starting a ministry.
Decide exactly what type of ministry you will be forming. You'll need to define its purpose and discuss the range of needs you could meet for the individuals. For example, decide if counselling or providing physical resources like low-income housing and free food will be needed. Keep track of the ideas you or your team may have.
You need to consider the resources allotted in your church budget to start a new ministry. Funds will determine where you can begin and will determine what types of services your new ministry can provide in its beginning stages. Determine if you need to raise funds to continue or expand the ministry. Come up with ways to raise funds. Consider standard fundraising techniques such as car washes, bake sales, silent auctions and more. Applying for grants may be helpful. Find out whether any other churches, within your faith or denomination or not, already have a similar ministry available to the community members. Consider asking that ministry how they were able to raise funds.
If other places of worship near you have similar types of ministries, see if you can make an appointment with them to find out what types of challenges the ministry had at different stages of formation and operation. Do not be afraid to learn from these places of worship, even if they are of a different faith. Helping people and promoting the common good should be the first priority of ministries and faith-based non-profits.
You need to plan a strategy to create and deploy the new ministry. Write everything down and don't be afraid to reorder the sequence of events to accomplish the goal. Pre-emptive work will need to be done whether you're working alone or with a church congregation. You may need to schedule time to speak with church leadership, obtain facts such as budgetary figures and locate community resources. Determine your support staff level and if you will need an administrative person or licensed counsellors, for example, then plan to obtain the staff support and resources needed. Include in your plans a strategy for marketing your new ministry in an effort to spread the word. Consider options like producing and distributing flyers, getting your ministry listed as a community resource with your local chamber of commerce, or targeting social sites like MySpace, Facebook and more.
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