022 – How do you start a new ministry from scratch? [Podcast]

A listener question


Welcome to Season 1 Episode 22 of the Your Church Matters podcast!  In this episode I unpacked a listener question.  Philippe wrote: How do you start a ministry when it might be you and one other person starting it?  What will you need to sustain ministry?



I’m excited about this question for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is that I know Philippe is not a pastor.  I’m convinced that real ministry begins with God’s purpose inspired in the hearts of real people who are seeking His heart.

To unpack this question I’m using my own definition of ministry that I have developed and refined over the years:  Ministry is intentional and compassionate service born out of a sensitivity to human need and carried out for the purpose of glorifying God and making disciples.

One of the struggles we have in the church is that we don’t have a clear definition of the targets we are trying to hit.  It’s hard to develop the “means” if the “ends” are unclear.


It's hard to develop the means if the ends are unclear. Click To Tweet


4 Key Questions to process in the development (and sustaining) of a new ministry:

1. What is the motivation for this ministry?

  • Is it compassionate?  How is it compassionate?
  • Is it service?  How is it service?  Who will we serve?
  • Is it in response to a real need in our community?  What is the need?  How must we respond?
  • Is it for the glory of God (and not simply the reputation of the church)?  How will we glorify God in this ministry?
  • Is it for the purpose of helping people become more like Jesus?  How will this ministry help people become more like Jesus?

2. What is the intention for this ministry?

  • Is it strategic, purposeful, and processful?  How so?
  • How does it fit within the mission and vision of my church?
  • Is it scaleable and sustainable?  How can it be?
  • Is it a current need or a future vision?

3. What resources are needed for this ministry?

  • Human – How many people do we need to have hands-on?
  • Physical – Operating space, supplies, financial support
  • Spiritual – Prayer partners, wise counselors
  • What is needed and expected from the church staff and leaders? It is not likely to fly if it requires more work for them.  It is also not likely to fly if they don’t support it.  If their support looks like enthusiastic encouragement and equipping God’s people for ministry, the likelihood of support and effectiveness increases exponentially.

4. What is your role?

  • Idea person?
  • Developer?
  • Resource person?
  • Leader?
  • Organizer?
  • Enlister?
  • Cheerleader?


Bottom line: Should you launch a ministry with you and one more person?  I can’t answer that for you.  Work through all these questions prayerfully, with an open heart, and enlist some trusted prayer partners to join your journey of exploration.  Listen for the voice of God.


To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, argumentative, off-topic, or just plain unhelpful.