Planning a New Ministry? Start by Listening

Planning a New Ministry? Start by Listening

ListeningBlogDespite best intentions, new ministries sometimes fail. Founding leaders move away; volunteers burnout; or the people you want to serve never show up. And you’re left asking, “What went wrong?”.

Starting and sustaining a new program is more complex than it seems. An often overlooked first step is to listen. Listen for:

  • Spiritual direction
  • Interests of potential volunteers
  • Needs of the people you’d like to serve

Without listening, your new ministry may make avoidable mistakes. Kids won’t go to a new event if parents can’t provide transportation. The new hearing loop in the sanctuary will go unused if people with hearing challenges don’t want to be identified as impaired.

Your congregation has a unique context that requires honest listening to impact those around you. Spend ample time listening. Then plan and launch your new ministry. You will likely be surprised – and avoid major mistakes.

Resources to start listening:

The Quick and Simple Asset Mapping Experience, a group activity to identify assets and gifts
Research Strategies for Congregations, ideas for formal and informal information gathering
How to Kill a Ministry Idea, a practical and prayerful assessment for your idea


Kate White
Associate Director for Resources