We’re often asked during our Key Ministry trainings, “How do a start a Special Needs Ministry?” This morning, at Special Needs Ministry Community, I answered the question… First and foremost, it’s necessary to begin with PRAYER and seeking God’s will for your ministry.
Once we have truly committed to that step, we need to roll up our sleeves and begin. And where do we begin? Our answer to THAT question is usually the same:
In today’s Google-culture, we’re accustomed to quick answers and step-by-step instructions. The reality of this type of ministry, though is that we’re dealing with people…the pastors, volunteers, and families at each church are unique. While there are some common themes to planning ministry events and programs, we must be mindful that no two ministries are alike! In order to start a ministry in a church, it’s important to understand that church.
Think of it this way: You notice that your neighbor hasn’t done much decorating in the past several years. Would you barge into her home, armed with a book called Five Steps to a Beautiful Home and begin tearing down wallpaper and rearranging furniture? Of course not! Similarly we can’t walk into church and instantly start a program. We must first build relationships and understand how the church functions.
With this in mind, we encourage folks to assess their church culture, and examine “how we do things around here.” Below is a list of questions to ask:
- How do we start new programs at our church? With whom should I meet to discuss my ideas?
- What leadership model do we use?
- What processes for starting new programs are in place? Do we need to follow an existing process?
- Does our church currently have policies for managing behavior, maintaining safety and recruiting/ training volunteers?
- What is the “chain of command” at our church when it comes to presenting new ideas?
Stay tuned…we’ll move forward from here!