Guideline #1: We never create a ministry and then try to find someone to lead it. It doesn’t work. The most critical factor in a new ministry isn’t the idea, but the person who is actually going to be the leader. Each ministry rises or falls on the leadership. Without the right leader, a ministry will just stumble along, possibly doing more harm than good.
It is important to never push people into a ministry or allow a ministry to begin without a clear leader. If we do, we’ll be stuck with a motivation problem for the life of the ministry. Instead, it is best to trust God’s timing and wait for Him to raise the person best shaped to lead a particular ministry. Then, let that person start it and run it.
Study the book of Acts and you’ll discover that organizing a ministry always followed what the Holy Spirit was doing. Not once in Acts do you find people coming up with a ministry idea and then praying, “Now, God, please bless our idea.” Instead, God would begin moving in people’s hearts, a ministry would spontaneously spring up in a small way, and, as it grew larger, they would add some structure to it.
Guideline #2: Don’t expect the staff to run your ministry. People often say things like, “I’ve got a great idea for our church” or “We should do something about…etc.” I always ask them to clarify what they mean by “we.” When people say, “The church should…” they usually mean “The pastor or staff should…”
Guideline #3: The ministry must be compatible with our church’s beliefs, values, and philosophy of ministry. If we allow ministries to start that are not headed in the same direction our church is headed, we’re just asking for conflict. Rather than helping the church, such ministries will actually hinder what we are trying to do and may even harm our church’s testimony.
We are especially cautious with ministries that are cosponsored by organizations outside our local church. These organizations often have agendas very different than our church’s agenda, which tends to produce divided loyalties.
Guideline #4: No fund-raising is allowed. (Read here). If we allow every ministry to do their own fundraising, our church patio will turn into a bazaar. There will be car washes and cookie sales all over the place. Competition for dollars will become intense, and our members will resent all the appeal letters and sales gimmicks.