Ministry Starting, Movement Building
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The Way to A Solid Ministry Foundation Is Through…


Every year I directed a ministry I underestimated the amount of teaching I needed to do in order to clarify the why’s of our ministry (in relation to the mission, vision, and values).

Every year I also noticed that the majority of people assume something negative about the why’s if they do not understand it. As frustrating as that was for me I realize I’m similar.

The best group of people to teach are what I call Laborers:

  • They are involved but not committed.
  • This group is characterized by their participation, and in order for them to develop they need to LEARN the why’s behind the various parts of your ministry structure.
  • As they learn about the mission, vision, and values they become more aligned and capable for leadership.

Here’s the visual of Laborers from the ministry funnel I developed:

Laborers-Ministry Funnel

An easy mistake is to wait until people in your ministry are leaders before you start teaching them the why’s. I’ve experienced that to be extremely ineffective as it often corresponds to a low retention rate, lower morale among student leaders, and much dissension.

A couple practical ways teach Laborers about your ministry:

1. Cast vision at EVERY event: social events, bible studies, training times, and main meetings all provide unique opportunities to cast vision and teach people about your ministry. It does not have to be a full blown presentation but it does need to connect the big picture to the event or activity.

2. Bring as many people as possible into the teaching process: allowing other staff as well as students to share the why’s greatly help the information sink in.

3. Debrief laborers as often as possible: when a laborer gives you feedback about an event or activity, or talks casually about any element of your ministry structure, you can use that as a teaching opportunity.

Do you have any tips or tactics for teaching those in a ministry about the mission, vision, and values?


  1. Josh Otto says

    Great post Brian. I have totally noticed and been bothered by the automatic skepticism and doubt that students naturally tend to have before the why’s are explained. I think an important step is coaching your core leaders and then to some degree even your emerging leaders on being able to explain the why’s, mission, vision, and values. Usually our leaders are interacting with laborers much more frequently and laborers are probably much more quick to ask honest questions and quicker to respond to our leaders than us. Having a solid group of leaders that can explain why’s goes a long way in casting vision and moving laborers to emerging leaders.

    • yeah dude that’s a great point. the culture change is complete when you have non-leaders doing what you are describing–which is what we saw a little bit last year at chico.

      when people w out titles are stepping out and owning the vision you know the momentum is there.

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