Spiritual Gift Based Ministry / How To Start a New Ministry
When we talk about “church ministry”, we’re generally referring to the services that the church provides within the church or the wider community based on the “spiritual gifts” bestowed on the members.
Some well-known ministries are the Youth Ministry, Music Ministry, Outreach Ministry, Children Ministry, Counselling Ministry, and Prison Ministry. These ministries typically seek to address an identified need or needs within a specific population, through planned programs and activities.
Here is a larger list.
- Information Ministry
- Counseling Ministry
- Music Ministry
- Youth Ministry
- Children’s Church
- Education Children / Adults
- Planning Team
- Worship Team
- Praise Team
- Video Team
- Skit / Plays Team
- Vacation Bible School Team
- Finance Team
- Mission Team
- Facilities Team
- Widow / Widows
- Welcome Team
- IT Teams
- Prayer Ministry
- Women’s Ministry
- Men’s Ministry
- Young Adults
- College Kids
- Youth Missions
- Communion Preparation
I Corinthians 12.7, ” Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”
Therefore, ministries are considered the practical arm of the gospel and are very important to reach those people who may never enter the church doors. Even as the need for different ministries increases, it is essential to know that starting a ministry is not an easy feat. However, if you follow these six (6) steps, you will be successful in starting your ministry.
Step 1. Recognizance: (Identify your Gift, the Needs around you and the Target Population for the Ministry)
1 Peter 4:11 tells us, “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
As you are inspired to start a ministry, it is recommended that you start one that is well-aligned with your gifts and strengths.
It then becomes critical to identify the need for this ministry. This can be done through a needs assessment, formally through surveys or interviews, or informally through observation and personal experience. By identifying the need, you also decide who the ministry will benefit and which specific needs of this population you will address.
There are many needs and one ministry will not adequately cater to all of them. This is why it is critical to identify at least one target goal specific to your demographic. For example, you may be inspired to start the Hospitality Ministry for the homeless population.
This population needs food, clothes, shelter, medication, counseling, empowerment sessions, education opportunities, or opportunities to learn a skill, and jobs. As a new ministry, you will not have the resources to meet all these needs, so pick one or two that you believe you have the gift and the capacity to address.
Isaiah 58:7 asks us, “ Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
This text suggests that the services that your ministry renders should match the relevant needs. Opportunities to serve are everywhere, so take the time to identify the prominent needs within your target population. In this way, your ministry will not just exist, it will make a notable impact on your target community.
Step 2: Seek God’s Guidance
God has already blessed you with spiritual gifts, as outlined in
1 Corinthians 12:10-11. “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” Romans 6:7 also supports this, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.”
As you now decide to use these gifts in ministry, it is essential to personally seek God’s guidance, even while inviting others to pray about the ideas that you have.
Matthew 6:33 exhorts us, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
It is important to get God’s approval for this ministry, as, while you may have the right idea in mind, God may direct you to address other needs in the same population He has promised that if you seek him first, he will grant you your heart’s desires. In Psalms 34:3-5, David Says, “3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it.…”Even Jesus, during His ministry here on earth, consulted with God, his Father.
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
Prayer not only invokes God’s supernatural powers into your ministry, but it also shows your complete dependence on him, laying the foundation for him to bless others as you serve. As you pray, you seek God’s empowerment, and like Isaiah, you offer yourself as a willing co-worker with God.
“Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
Step 3: Build an Effective Team
As you begin a ministry, it is necessary to identify like-minded persons with similar passion and complimentary gifts to form your team. A ministry needs human resources, volunteers willing to make an effort, and sacrifice the time required, as well as those with gifts that will enrich the ministry.
Approximately 10 years ago we put together and outreach Team ( Called the Assimilation Team). A group of 6-7 Christians that had the heart to reach out to the Lost. We met Every Sunday Night after Services for Prayer and Leading the church in outreach. We Had a Tremendous time of Outreach, comradery, being led by the Spirit, and it was a powerful time in all of our lives. Letting God Lead and we as a team following.
Do not preselect your team and then try to fit them into the ministry. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, identify persons who are already suitable for your ministry based on their gifts and passions. Jesus, during his ministry, sought God’s intervention in selecting his team of disciples. In Luke 6:12 -13, we are told,
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them, he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.”
When you submit to God’s will, he will show you the team members who can execute different roles in the group. We see this strategy during the disciple’s time when they focus on their role as evangelists led to the neglect of the widows. They identified a team to whom they could delegate specific tasks.
First Deacons / Servants
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Importantly, the team that was to be selected needed to have specific characteristics that would ensure success in their assigned role. Similarly, you must identify capable persons, united in service, to help you begin your ministry.
Step 4: Create a Strategic Plan
After identifying the need for your ministry and putting a team in place, it is now necessary to create a strategic plan. Zeal alone cannot run a ministry, and neither can prayers alone as
“faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)
Proverbs 29:3 tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 24:7 also admonishes us, “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field, and afterward build thine house.”
The Bible is a firm supporter of planning, and it is wise to implement this practice for your ministry. A plan helps you identify your goals and outlines the steps to achieve them. Without a plan, your ministry may start but will simply fizzle out, with no map to guide the outcomes. There will also be no way to determine the ministry’s successor to identify areas for improvement.
Proverbs 22:3 tells us, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
By planning, you will also be able to identify the tools and skills available to your ministry. You will need to decide on aspects of your ministry, including but not limited to location, marketing tools, communication methods, data management, and reporting. Team assignments become relevant as you seek to unite the group, using their diverse gifts to achieve one purpose.
“And the Lord said unto him, what is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” (Exodus 4:2)
God was able to use Moses’ rod to accomplish many things, including performing miracles before Pharaoh, striking a rock, providing water, and parting the Red Sea. As you plan for your ministry, identify the tools in your hands, and outline how they will contribute to your purpose.
Understanding that just as all the body parts play an essential role in the overall functioning of the body, it becomes necessary for you to create the framework within which the team members can pool their individual skills for the overall operation of the ministry, and this is accomplished through planning.
As you assign roles, you may realize that your team lacks a necessary skill-set and can immediately seek to engage another member with this skill, or as a team, you can decide to outsource the task. The ministry’s work may seem daunting and too much for a small group, but remember that nothing done for God is in vain.
Hebrews 6:10 encourages us, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
God will reward your efforts, so commit your plans to him, and he will make a way as he notices your efforts.
Step 5: Prepare a Budget
Some persons may include a budget as a part of their general plan, but for a sustainable ministry, high emphasis must be placed on budgeting. Your goals and activities will determine your budget.
In Luke 14:28, the Bible asks, “Or which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
Ministries need resources, so it is necessary that budgeting becomes a critical part of your planning. This involves identifying the expected expenses to be incurred by the ministry, identifying possible sources of income, and drafting plans on how to tap into this potential income through donations, sponsorship, grants, or other means.
As you budget, you may feel overwhelmed by the numbers as you calculate the high costs to run your ministry, but bear in mind that God is your Provider. Throughout the ages, he has always provided funds for ministries through the faithful support of others.
Nehemiah’s story can inspire you; he had a passion and a calling to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In Nehemiah 2, we see where God used pagan Kings to provide the resources for this ministry.
“And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” (Nehemiah 2: 8)
When God is with your ministry, he will provide the means to support the work, sometimes from unlikely sources.
Similarly, when God sent Elijah to Sidon, he commanded a widow to provide for him.
“Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (1 Kings 17:9)
Elijah was able to minister to this widow through the power of God, leaving her with an unlimited supply of corn and oil after she fed him.
“And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17: 16)
However, it is prudent to create a budget to guide the management and allocation of these resources, laying the foundation for transparency and accountability, standards, that any ministry should aspire to meet.
Step 6: Set a Timeline for Launching
As you execute the different steps in preparation for starting your ministry, it is important to have deadlines. You must decide that your ministry will be ready to be launched by a specific date, especially when they need you to have decided to address is urgent.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
God does not want you to procrastinate in ministry; He wants you to be working consistently on the mission field, laboring, and blessing others’ lives through your varied gifts.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 also tells us, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
This verse suggests that you should put every effort into whatever ministry you are called to do, and the work must be done promptly. Without a timeline, procrastination becomes easy, and you fall into the trap of delaying tasks that could be completed immediately. Similarly, your team may become weary and may lose interest over time if there is no activity geared towards the ministry’s launch. A timeline creates priceless motivation for you and your team, and this is necessary to bring your plans to life.
Starting a ministry is never an easy task; it takes inspiration, dedication, a strong team, and a double dose of perseverance.
Galatians 6:9 encourages us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
There is a reward for enduring the end. Challenges will come as you seek to launch your ministry, but press on. God will strengthen you and uphold you with his right hand.
1 Peter 4:10 also says, “As every man hath received the gift, even so, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
If God has called you to a ministry, he will equip you for its success. Do not allow fear to prevent you from implementing these successful steps for starting your ministry.