I’ve heard it asked before, “Have you ever seen a statue of a committee?” Taking your ministry to the next level will probably begin with you. Of course, to accomplish big things, we must rely on others around us, but the seed of change has to begin with an individual somewhere. You, as the leader of your church, ministry area, or department, have the opportunity, by God’s grace, to make a difference and help move things forward. One or more of these ideas might be a catalyst for moving your worship team, student ministry team, children’s ministry team or church in the right direction of growth.
Here are the ten ideas:
Active, Intentional and Desperate Prayer
All great revivals and movements of God’s power have been birthed out of prayer. We can’t just say we’re a person of prayer, we must be a person of prayer. We must be intentional as we pray for our ministry, our people, and the tenderness of our own heart as we seek God’s holiness and God’s power. Do we pray out of desperation or do we ask God to bless those things that we are doing in our own strength. If you’re not in over your head, trusting God to do mighty things in spite of you, then you might need to go deeper in prayer.
Be A Leader Of Leaders
There are people in your church or department who can help you lead in ministry. The role of the staff person is to develop leaders and create space for other leaders to thrive. You can never grow and scale your ministry beyond your ability and sheer number of hours in your day unless you begin to focus on leaders who can also shoulder some of the load.
Act Twice Your Size
Too often, in many ministries, we feel small and as a result, act small. One way to move to the next level is to begin to act twice your size. What structures would need to be in place if you had twice as many people involved? Begin to implement those structures and plans now. This will help build expectation for those involved in your ministry. Acting twice your size also helps your church get ready for people that God will send as we are anticipating new people. acting twice your size can apply to worship attendance, hospitality endeavors, followup plans or leaders structure. In other words, start acting like you dream to be as a ministry.
Think About Your Successor
Every ministry leader is interim. What kind of structure and legacy do you want to leave for the next person who will take your role? Thinking though this transition, even if it’s not immediate, helps a leader nail down the most important things to get done. Additionally, thinking about raising up those around you who could be your successor (though you don’t have to tell them that) is another way to be intentional in planning, structure and growth of your ministry area. What will your ministry be like when you leave the post? Work toward a solid foundation of health, community, love, mission filled ministry role, ready for whoever serves next to build upon.
Work On It, Not Just In It
Spend time working on your ministry – not just in it. It’s easy to get caught up the rat race, fighting fires, staying above water – or any number of other analogies that indicate that we are so busy with our nose to the grindstone that we don’t have time to strategize and plan for ministry. Working on your ministry may mean taking a few hours each month to organize the calendar and goals. It could be a retreat with your leaders to dream about the future growth of your church. However you do it, take time to work on the structure and systems and this will create lasting fruit as you continue working hard in ministry.
Document Your Ministry
Invest some time writing down specifically what you do in ministry and the roles you would like to delegate. Its some investment on the front end, but can pay big dividends. You don’t have to publish these lists and documents, but have them available. It will help you clarify what you do and will help you lead others to do things well. Here are a few documents you need to start with:
Vision – Write out your vision for your ministry. A vision is basically a snapshot of preferred future outcome. It’s that simple.
Culture – What are the core values you are trying to highlight in your organization?
Process – How do people get involved in your ministry? What are the steps? Where do they begin? How do volunteers get connected to a meaningful role? What is the process for planning and preparing each week?
Main Thing – What is the main thing you ministry (or church or department does). Limit this to three or four and write it out.
Fully Involved – Document what it looks like for someone to be fully engaged in your ministry area. How will you know someone is locked in – if they are there two times per month? if they have a regular weekly job? etc. What does it look like to be a fully engaged volunteer in your ministry area or your church? What are the requirement for leaders?
What To Delegate – Write out the steps to the routine things you do so you can pass it off to others who would enjoy doing it. Create a simple document with numbered steps describing those things you find yourself doing repeatedly and could easily be done by someone else. Documenting these things could free you up to focus on larger, vision context opportunities.
Shift To Friendships
Our world is in dire need of community. Whatever your ministry area, shift from programs to friendships. Connect with your people on a personal level. People have dreams, aspirations, and issues. They have friends, families, and schedules. The more you know your people, the better equipped you will all be to live out big ministry roles together in community.
Build a Culture of Invitation
The church is about reaching out to the world. Always model a culture of invitation. Invite new people to be involved. Invite new people to become a part of your ministry team. Invite others around you into deeper and more meaningful roles. Building a culture of invitation will help grow your ministry.
You can’t do ministry alone. Who is your on your team? Help them find the place where they can be activated in ministry. As they find their place, and become more effective in their work, the ministry will grow automatically. Who needs to be on your team? If you need to build more volunteers, workers and leaders in your ministry, start praying and asking (most often this happens simultaneously). Don’t have a scarcity mindset about who in your church can help you. God has equipped each church with the leaders needed to accomplish the needed ministry for that community. But often, people need to be asked.
One way to take your ministry to the next level is to expect things to grow and improve. Learn to speak out – complementing people as things go well, but raising the bar on those areas in your ministry together that need improvement. As people rise to your expectation, growth will occur naturally.
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