Don’t fly a plane before it’s built. Don’t move into a house that’s under construction and don’t launch a ministry before it’s ready. I’ve seen many people with a love for God and a heart for people launch ministries with enthusiasm that haven’t lasted. I’ve seen small groups fail, youth outreaches come and go, churches close, and feeding programs fizzle out. Zeal provides the fuel you need to start and maintain a ministry, but a good plan provides the structure for success. A solid plan built on sustained prayer and a solid strategy will outlast a great idea fueled by zeal.
There are 7 steps to launching a successful ministry.
- Build a prayer team: Find people who love you and believe in you to pray for your new endeavor. Share your idea with them and update them regularly on your progress, needs, and problems.
- Align the ministry to your calling. We all have plenty of ideas, but we can’t do everything. Does this new idea line up with God’s call on your life? Count the cost. What will you have to stop doing to find the time and energy to get this done?
- Define your objective. What does a “win” look like? Are you feeding the hungry, building church, or gathering men together for discipleship? If you don’t have a goal, you won’t know if you’ve reached it.
- Find the right people. Figure out the types of people you’ll need to reach this goal. Spend time meeting people and discovering the dreams and passions of their heart. Don’t try and fit people into your plan. Find people who already have similar desires and connect their passions with your purpose.
- Identify your tools. What resources will you need to reach your goal? Consider the location, print materials, technology, data management system, communication methods, and marketing tools the ministry needs to start and operate. Realm is a great tool to consider because it meets many of your needs in one platform.
- Set your budget. Now that you know what you’ll be doing and the tools you’ll need to do it, figure out how much it will cost. Your goals and needs plan drive your budget; don’t let the number intimidate you. Focus on what you need not what you have. If God called you to this, He’ll bring in the money.
- Establish a timeline. Set deadlines for raising your budget, building your team, and launching your effort. Give yourself plenty of time to complete each step before you move to the next. Track your progress and communicate it to your prayer team and ministry partners. Strong launches outlast faster launches.