In my last post, 5 Signs that Your Ministry Needs a Facelift, I addressed the signs which indicate that your ministry might need some fine tuning. But before you throw in the towel and simply ‘quit,’ here are a few things you might do to help revive your ministry and your passion for your ministry. We will consider 5 simple things: WHY, WHAT, WHO, ADVERTISING, and SMALL VICTORIES.
1. WHY – Your Mission Statement
Think back to when you first had the vision for your ministry. Why was this something you wanted to do? What drove you? I would encourage you to create a mission statement that reveals your heart behind why you believe this is what God is calling you to do.
Maybe you already have a mission statement, but’s filed away somewhere with dust all over it. Grab it! Dust it off. Does it need rewording or fine tuning? Think about your WHY, create a mission statement and hang it somewhere you will be able to see it. That way, on the days that aren’t so fun, you can easily be reminded of why you do what you do.
Your ‘what’ may be defined in your mission statement, but think about what need you are meeting. Every ministry will have a primary function – Bible study, fellowship, counseling, etc. What need is being met by YOUR ministry. Be specific. Don’t think that you have to meet ALL needs ALL the time. Focus on the ONE thing your ministry provides.
For example, an outreach ministry will focus on meeting new people. Yes, you will naturally grow into deeper relationships with the people within your ministry. But if growing the relationships become more primary than the outreach, the people you want to ‘reach’ may feel left out because they haven’t built that relationship yet.
Who is your intended audience? Is there a specific people group you want to reach with your ministry. We see this in church all the time – children’s ministry, youth ministry, women’s ministry, etc. Who is your target audience? Is it the single moms, divorcees, people who just lost a loved one?
You don’t have to be so exclusive within your ministry. I attend some of our ‘singles ministry’ events because they are fun. And I’m NOT single. But think about who you would ideally like to be a part of your ministry. This will help you decide how to approach the next phase – advertising.
When you know your target audience, you will be able to advertise to that specific group. For example, millennials and teenagers will more than likely notice social media ads. There are also a lot of different apps you could use to communicate within your group. If your audience is on their phones all of the time, then it might be time for a change.
The people who have been coming to your church for a while MIGHT read the events calendar or message board, but don’t rely solely on a piece of paper to do your advertising for you. However, if you are advertising to women, I’ve found one of the best places is on the bathroom stalls!
In my opinion, word of mouth is the best way to get people to show up to your events. But don’t rely solely on an announcement from the pulpit. You can say the same announcement every Sunday to the same person and sometimes they still won’t have a clue.
5. CELEBTRAT THE SMALL VICTORIES
When I first started my workout ministry at our church, we had 40 people show up the first night! That was more than I could have ever imagined. Of course, most of them wanted to come check it out since it was a brand new concept. After the first few weeks, our numbers dwindled.
We’ve had our numbers spike at different times of the year and others we’ve had no one show up. We can expect anywhere between 4 and 12 on a given Monday. Recently, our numbers have been 1-2, and sometimes zero. It was pretty discouraging. We took a break over the holidays and decided we were going to revamp. We advertised on different social media platforms.
We did have 3 new people this past week. It wasn’t the grand number I expected at the start of the new year, but I’ll take it. Sometimes, it’s not about numbers. I’ve grown close to the those few people who have been consistent over the past year. And while new people bring a level of excitement, I’m still thankful for the growing relationships I have with my ‘regular’ attenders.
But, if you really believe God is calling you in a different direction, then I encourage you to pray about it. God calls us out of many things to bring us into new exciting adventures. Always have an open conversation with him. He won’t lead you down the wrong path. After all, the ministry is for Him, right?
What ministries are you a part of? Are they working well? What tips do you have to keep the fire alive within a ministry? Let me know in the comments below!