The “Right Next Step” in Launching New Ministry

The “Right Next Step” in Launching New Ministry in the Church

 Leonard C. Albert

 It is my opinion that the greatest enemy of church growth is “initial inertia” which can be simply defined as “getting the ball rolling.”  Thinking about, talking about, and reading about growing a church are all great but they aren’t that same as doing it.  No Growth will occur if you don’t take action.  You have to begin somewhere.

 Here are some thoughts on how to begin:

  •  Make sure the senior pastor supports and participates in the venture.  A church will always go in the direction of the pastor’s heart.  This is a non-negotiable certainty.  If he or she is not fully supportive of any endeavor, then time, attention, thinking, planning, money and people resources will flow to other ministries in the church.
  • Find a leader who is passionate about training laity and reaching the lost.  This can be the senior pastor, an associate pastor, or a lay leader.  You don’t have to be a professional to lead a lay ministry effort but you need a consuming desire to see God’s people trained to reach lost people.  If your passion focuses on this goal, then God will give you the ability to do the job with His anointing.
  • Form a leadership team that is committed to excellence.  Campus Crusade for Christ founder, Bill Bright, who is now with the Lord, was an outstanding layman who knew the secret of training leaders.  He often said, “Everything boils down to leadership.”  The thought here is that you can’t do it alone.  The leadership team must become the model of what you want to reproduce in the church.
  • Try to find some “start-up” money.  It costs money to reach the world for Christ!  If the church holds the preparing and training of the laity for evangelism and outreach as a value, then money must be allocated to express this value.  Pastors must become financially committed to reaching out to those outside the church.  It will take time to go from what little is now given to a significant budget, but I recommend that this project be included in the financial planning of the assembly and that “start-up” money be allocated.
  • Determine the right strategy.  My good friend and popular men’s author Pat Morley says, “The man who knows how will always be working for the man who knows why.”  The “up front” decisions you make about your lay ministries program are the most important ones.  They will define the process and, ultimately, determine whether you succeed or not.

 Consider our new “Take Five” personal evangelism initiative.  This is an excellent new soul winning ministry for the local church.  You can find all the details at: www.take5lifegroups.com.

 

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  1. #1 by David Lloyd-Jones on July 20, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Leonard,

    I am interested in how this will go forward. My impression, both from watching friends involved in this sort of personal evangelism and from reading some church history, is that such groups have very high turnover, both in membership and in existence. The groups don’t last very long, and average individual memberships are even shorter.

    The Seventh Day Adventists present a particularly interesting picture. As the Bible tells them, if not the rest of us, only 144,000 souls are going to get into Heaven. Ever. This may not be a problem for them, since the average belief-career of a regular Adventist is only about 18 months. You’d think it might discourage anyone who thinks their membership may already be that big; then again, people may join up fresh and elated with the feeling that they can elbow aside some more tired soul there before them…

    Many drift away fairly quickly, and vast numbers are expelled for religious deviance.

    What is most interesting, particularly for those of us who think of Adventism as a perhaps adventurous set of beliefs, not to say a ridiculous set of superstititions, is what happens to those who drift away.

    About half apparently become routine unbelievers of the sort who find comfort in all the other churches. (Americans score highest of the advanced countries in percent who say they are Christians, and last, bottom, dopiest, in percentage who can name the Four Gospels.) The other half, however, veer off into the nether world of American religion where the Seventh Day Adventists are considered too tame, too mainstream, too calm, too conservative.

    My thought would be that a high percentage of the young people who take part in your personal evangelism are curious and intelligent searchers. Don’t you think this presents you with something of a challenge? How are you going to keep them in church once they read the Sermon on the Mount?

    Best wishes,

    -dlj.

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