I am receiving an increasing number of inquiries about church planting or launching a new ministry. I like that. It shows people are still willing to walk by faith. Having planted two churches and after helping numerous nonprofit ministries see their start, I’ve learned a few things, many of which I write about here. I’ve also learned there are a few common steps in a successful launch.
It doesn’t really matter what the ministry is … the launching process is relatively the same. You should know I’m a simple-minded guy. But time and time again I’ve seen simple work. Sometimes we overcomplicate things.
I’m not saying simple is easy. It hardly ever is. I’m saying that we should not make the steps more convoluted than they actually are, and that the more we can simplify the steps into an easy-to-understand format, the easier it will be to complete them.
Here are five steps to a successful ministry launch:
1. Vision. Get a clear, easy-to-understand, worthy vision that honors God and brings good to other people and for which people can get excited.
2. People. Recruit people who love the vision as much as you do. If you can’t find like-minded people, it will be very difficult to be successful in the new ministry. I always believe, and have witnessed it repeatedly, that if God is in this, He has already been shaping the vision in other people’s minds. We just need to find them.
3. Equip and assign. With people contributing, determine the tasks needed to accomplish the vision. Help people understand their unique role in accomplishing the vision and assign them to specific tasks. Give them the resources they need and make sure they are clear on their assigned role.
4. Energize. Keep people motivated toward the vision by continually reminding them of the overall purpose and their significant place in accomplishing it.
5. Release. Let people do their part to accomplish the vision. Give real ownership. Delegate. Don’t control.