Two of the best times to start new ministries in US congregations are January and back-to-school (August/September). Lots of “start new” momentum exists in our culture in those seasons, and it’s much easier to ride momentum than create it from scratch. Plus, people are already thinking about starting new then, so moving them into the “let’s start something new” box is much easier.
Since January is upon us, what if you started planning now for a new start this August? Seven months will fly by, but they will also provide a great runway for organizing, team-building, and the buy-in needed for launching that new ministry to young families … or whatever it is you want to start.
Start With “Why?”
If I asked you why you want to start this new ministry, how would you answer?
Spend plenty of time answering this question. Your answer should include the practical – “We have nothing for the young families who have moved into the neighborhood.” Leading with that and with a specific example of a specific individual you’ve met in the neighborhood is a great way to introduce the “Why?”
A “Why?” of One
Make sure your “Why?” addresses “me” and connects “me” to one other person.
Studies show that Jesus wired us to respond to the needs of one person more than the needs of many. Right or wrong, we are more compelled to generosity when we sense personal responsibility for one individual. Perhaps it flows from our sinful, scarcity mindset – we are too easily overwhelmed by gigantic needs. One person in need … and I’m the only one being asked … I am more prone to do something.
The more personal the why, on both sides of the equation, the more compelling.
A “Why?” of Jesus
But always include the deeper, more foundational reasons. The reasons that transcend generations or demographics. The reasons that speak to the immediacy.
Include Jesus’ objective statements about us and our calling: We are the light of the world (home). We are a city set on a hill (in a neighborhood). We are the harvesters of the fields (communities) that are white and ready for reaping. We are charged with making disciples of all ethnicities and people groups … especially the ones who have moved into the neighborhood.
The “we” is full of “I’s and me’s.” Help “me” hear Jesus’ Word personalized with “my name.” Jesus is calling “me” especially.
By including the foundational “Why?” you lay a lifelong foundation for making disciples and reaching all ethnicities, which leads to multiple, continual efforts rather than just a seasonal event.
From “Why?” to “What? & Who?”
Next month we’ll talk about fleshing out some of the specifics of your new start so that you can begin building the team to help lead the effort.
As you contemplate an August or September launch, consider signing up for the StartNew process. Our next 3Day bootcamp is in February, with the summer one taking place in August. Click here for more information.
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