All posts filed under: Ministry Starting

Do You Know What Your Ministry Is Supposed to Look Like?

If you cannot visualize how your ministry is supposed to look like how can you boldly ask God for big things that will lead to significant transformation? The stock answer to the question “What would it look like for God to powerfully show up in our ministry?” is “more people and the current people doing bigger things for God.” We should have specific and detailed answers to that question. I love this video from Lamborghini advertising their “Aventador,” because it reveals the specific details that create an amazing automobile. In order to properly visualize what your ministry is supposed to look like these elements must be present: A clear biblical calling rooted in a specific passage(s) of Scripture Significant time spent with your team talking about passions, frustrations, challenges, and current realities (for your ministry and for the place you are seeking to reach) An understanding of what you specifically bring as a leader and your ministry’s distinctives (mission, vision, values) applied contextually. A willingness to “see” things that are not yet there. Instead of …

What Are You Bringing to Life as You Lead Your Ministry?

“One of the things I always do is study the object, and thinking about what is the object that we are bringing to life.” –John Lasseter I found this short interview between Charlie Rose and John Lasseter fascinating and insightful. Lasseter created ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Cars;’ here he talks about the process of bringing animated characters to life. There are so many things to do in ministry. Yet what I find most difficult is being the ministry to which God has called me. Do you spend time thinking about the dream that God has called you to bring to life? Or are you more concerned about measuring up to the ministry’s around you or that have influenced you?

The Art of Ministry Starting

“I saw the statue inside.”–Michelangelo If you have or are thinking of starting a ministry this video will seriously encourage you. Especially if you have a vision for your ministry that most people do not yet “get.” To read more of Steve Blank’s thoughts click here. Can’t see the video? Click here to view it in your browser.

Lighten Your Ministry Structure

When evaluating your ministry structure the conversation has a gravitational pull towards addition, not subtraction. However pruning/curating/streamlining your ministry structure by taking things out and/or grouping things together offers a huge opportunity for significant growth and increased effectiveness. Here’s a couple things to think through: Are there any ministry teams that overlap more than 30% in function? Sometimes there is a team tasked toward community and a team tasked toward events. These could be combined and restructured so that the leadership roles is expanded and the commitments are raised, providing new growth opportunities for current leaders. Is there a team that has served it’s purpose and needs to end? So often contexts demand a short-term, highly focused solution. I think of an evangelism team–you certainly do not want to segment evangelism to a specific group of people, but often times you need to create momentum and energy for evangelism, and a team is a great solution for that. Leaders who have roles but little actual responsibility can become frustrated, distracting, and bitter towards your ministry. …

Diagnose and Tailor Your Ministry Strategy

“Far too many new leaders don’t effectively diagnose their situations and tailor their strategies accordingly. Then, because they don’t understand the situation, they make unnecessary mistakes.”–Michael Watkins from The First 90 Days Tim Casteel shared this quote in the comments of a previous post titled Giving Away Your Ministry. I fell into this category as a new leader and learned this lesson experientially. A new leader often thinks the people are what need to be diagnosed and “fixed.” A seasoned leader knows that the people will never be “fixed” until the resources, structures, and leadership culture match the current reality and propel the ministry toward the mission, vision, and values. Resources: Resources (leaders, laborers, and loot) must align around the long-term (1-3 years) and towards expansion. Sometimes ministries spend most of their resources on the short term and towards enhancement (better coffee and doughnuts), yet wonder why their numbers stay the same year after year. Structures: It’s so easy to either under design or over design your ministry by adding more or not enough teams/groups/committees. …

Speeding Up Your Ministry IQ

Eric Ries presented on The Lean Startup at SXSWI and this was one of his slides:   If We Can Reduce the Time Between Pivots Here’s the definition of a pivot: “a pivot occurs when a start-up tests a new direction while still keeping one metaphorical foot in the original business,” from a post on How to Change Your Ministry Direction. Often times ministry leaders become aware of the need to change directions but wait until it’s a problem instead of an annoyance to do so. To reduce the time between pivots consider asking more questions of your constituents and test to see if your tactics are in fact increasing the amount of leaders, laborers, and loot. We Can Increase Our Odds of Success Another easy trap to fall into is making a BIG change in response to a SMALL problem. This type of reactionary leadership rarely results in greater effectiveness. Ask yourself or your team “What is the SMALLEST change that we can make that will solve this current problem?” This will prevent making …

Giving Away Your Ministry

“They only have 1 full-time equivalent staff member (that includes all staff, not just ministry staff) for every 150 people in attendance. Only about 35% of their budget is spent on staff expenses.”–from a post by Tony Morgan on how to expand the number of volunteers in your church or ministry. Those seeking to start and grow a ministry can benefit from paying attention to the ratio of leaders (staff) to attendees/members. If there is a disproportional relationship between leaders and members (say 2 leaders for every 5 people) then chances are your ministry may be stagnating. Tony elaborates on this statistic: “Because they have very few staff, they are forced to empower volunteers to do the ministry. Almost 70% of their adults volunteer. That’s the highest percentage of adults volunteering of all the churches I’ve worked with.” Leaders provide the most value when they are aligning and empowering others. When they start managing and doing most of the work of the ministry they eliminate room for others to participate/lead (without a title)/and grow.   …

How to Change Your Ministry Direction

An increasing gap between the vision and reality signals the need to make a change in your ministry’s direction. A change in direction can be falsely understood as failure, since it’s a departure from what a leader thought would happen. Yet the ministries that I have observed to be MOST successful make changes swiftly and decisively. A term that’s popular in the entrepreneurial community is called “the pivot.” A recent post from INC magazine describes what it is: “Like the basketball maneuver of the same name, in which a player keeps one foot planted while changing direction with the other foot, a pivot occurs when a start-up tests a new direction while still keeping one metaphorical foot in the original business.” Here’s a simple process for making a pivot: Make some clear and focused observations about your current reality; this includes hard and soft data. Discern the gap between what you want to see happen and what those in your ministry are doing. Shift your direction/structure/strategy to match the existing behavior of those in your …

College Ministry E-Book! The First Four Weeks

I’m excited to announce an ebook for college ministers on how to maximize the first four weeks of school for greater effectiveness and fruitfulness. Being apart of Campus Crusade has allowed me to gain not only tremendous skills from literally thousands of leaders who have gone before, but also observe country-wide and global patterns and trends that every ministry experiences. The goal was to be as practical and non-theoretical as possible. My assumption is that you already have plenty of your own theories and many from others. I sought to distill the baseline patterns and strategies that ALWAYS produced greater effectiveness and fruitfulness; and there are lots in college ministry. This is version 1.0–I see it as a living, breathing document that will grow up and mature as it gets robust feedback from ministry leaders around the world. Sign up below and you will be emailed the book as soon as it’s complete. Sign Up for “The First Four Weeks” Ebook * indicates required Email Address * Close Click here if you are reading this …