Through the years I have been asked hundreds of times about what I would say are the critical steps in planting or launching a church or ministry. 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 know 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. I’m a simple-minded guy. I like quick reads and steps and then let me go to work. Time and time again I’ve seen simple work. Sometimes we over complicate things.
I’m not saying simple is easy. Any time you start something new (or revitalize something old) there will be difficulties. Achieving your best never comes without a struggle.
I’m saying 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 5 steps to a successful ministry launch:
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. Puts words around it people can understand. Where are you trying to help people go?
People – Recruit people who love the vision as much as you do. Do they want to go where you do—almost as much as you do. (I say almost, because many times you’ll have owned the vision longer than they have.) 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 those He has been drawing to Himself and His vision.
Equip and assign – Determine the tasks needed to accomplish the vision and then line up people to accomplish the tasks. 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.
Keep in mind that in the early days we don’t get to specialize. We usually have to generalize. In a church plant, someone will have to help with babies even if it isn’t their passion now. (They do need to love children and seeing children grow to love Christ.) As you grow people can specialize more, but everyone needs to do what needs doing in the early days.
Energize – Keep people motivated toward the vision by continually reminding them of the overall purpose and their significant place in accomplishing it. This is one of your key jobs as a leader.
Release – Let people do their part to accomplish the vision. Give real ownership to people. Delegate. Don’t control.
This article originally appeared here.