I was recently asked what our policy is for launching a new initiative or ministry. While we don’t have anything formal, here are the general guidelines that I’ve followed:
1. It has to tie into helping us accomplish our mission – there are a lot of good things you can do to accomplish what you’re church is about, but will this initiative really move you forward in doing what God has asked you to do? Launching new initiatives can be a drain on resources, so make sure this ministry is going to be a net gain.
2. Have a budget – If there are dollars needed, determine ahead of time where the budget is going to come from and who is going to be accountable for revenue and expenses.
3. Identify a volunteer leader that can be the point person – if you don’t have a leader with a vision and time for the ministry, don’t launch. Too often things get added to already overworked staff and the ministry flounders and eventually fades away. Maybe consider delaying the launch until a solid leader is on board for at least the first year of the ministry (There is another set up leadership criteria that should considered to ensure someone is spiritually ready to lead)
4. Identify who the staff person is that is going to support and serve the volunteer leader – it’s important that volunteer leaders have the full support of the staff and believe the staff is there to love, support, and equip them to lead.
5. Develop a clear plan of implementation – the staff leader and the volunteer leader should have the full support of the management team in launching the ministry. There is a lot of coordination that takes place that often requires time for a lot of different areas: communication, teaching, kids, administrative, reception, etc. so make sure everyone on staff and key leaders understand the implementation plan.
6. Evaluate and give feedback – once the ministry is launched and the leader is leading, we tend to just assume everything is running smooth unless there is a crisis. Rather than wait for everything to fall apart, have a plan for regular review. Is this ministry doing what we originally hoped it would? Is the volunteer leader performing the way we hoped?