Planning a Successful Year of Ministry
Six Ideas for Planning Out You Entire Ministry Year
Have you followed our previous blogs where we outlined how to create a vision statement for your ministry and how to cast that vision? If you’ve created a vision statement and shared it with your team, the next step is preparing for your ministry year. Successful ministry requires preparation and mindfulness, and now is a great time to begin planning out your next year!
One of the first things that we find helpful as you begin to plan your ministry year is to take some time to identify and assess your ministry’s spiritual needs, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and potential hurdles. If you followed our suggestions on casting vision, you will have already spent some time revisiting ministry successes and failures. You will have made sure that your vision is contextual (for your specific people, time and place). You will have already begun asking the hard questions, like who is being served? What do they need? How does Christ offer relief to their situation?
You can take this a step further, and solidify your ministry’s vision. This is your opportunity to take what you have learned when identifying and assessing your ministry, and begin to discern what areas of that vision might need tweaked or strengthened. By identifying these considerations, you can begin to move forward with planning a ministry platform that best addresses any concerns and utilizes existing strengths.
The next step we recommend is mapping out the scripture journey for the ministry year. Select scriptures that reflect the direction of the ministry’s vision and spiritual goals. Think of your goals for ministry and reflect on what God is calling you to do this year. If there are scripture passages that have spoken to you in this process, this is your chance to share them with your team! Write out those goals that you have for spiritual and community growth along with the applicable scriptures.
From there, you can take the scriptures you’ve chosen to highlight for the year and begin to select a theme. If you have a solid set of scriptures to use as your guide for the year, it should be simple to see an emerging theme. For instance — if your scriptures all point towards passages in which Jesus spoke to his disciples, discipleship is a natural theme to choose.
Once you have your scriptures mapped and your theme selected, you can begin to write lesson plans around them. There are many great online resources for theme and lesson plan development to help you along. Several websites we recommend are Bible Study Tools, the Ministry to Youth website and Desiring God. Take some time to outline your ministry dates, approximate amount of time for lessons, and a basic lesson structure. This may be a time to delegate out some aspects of each lesson to members of your ministry team as needed.
The most important step is to then pray over your ministry and your leadership team (and hopefully, you’ve been praying over it at each step in your planning to this point, as well!). Take your ministry theme, planning and scripture journey to your leadership team, and pray over the next year. Cover every aspect in prayer!
As you work on the plan for the next ministry year, don’t forget our six suggestions: identify and assess your ministry’s strengths and weaknesses; solidify your ministry’s vision; map out the spiritual journey for the ministry year; write lesson plans; select a theme; and pray!
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