Before You Start Something New

Last night we started something new.  We launched a young adult ministry gathering called Hanging Out that looks to walk with young people from adolescence into adulthood.  The turnout was positive, the night flowed well and what took a lot of timing and planning got started on the right foot.  Where it will go?  Only God only knows and we cannot wait to find out.

Courtesy of Commons License

Courtesy of Commons License

It takes a lot of courage to get start a new ministry, project or program. There are so many obstacles; however, with the right type of preparation can build the momentum your ministry needs.  When you do something new you create new opportunities, environments and relationships for teens to grow in Christ.  But you need a plan.  Before you start something new be sure to:

  • Check Your Margin: When you start something new you’ll be adding more than another thing to your plate.  With any new project or ministry there will be a lot more emotional, physical and spiritual investment than maintaining an existing program.  This means eliminating or delegating something that could compete or would suffer as a result of you taking on this new initiative.
  • Have An End Result In Mind: Everything you do needs a purpose.  It will prevent you from creating competing systems and it will allow you to build hype around an initiative.  When you start anything new you need to make sure people are clear on what you want them to know and where you plan on taking them.  It’s all about giving them a vision and mission.
  • Create A Flexible Plan: When you start something new it can get messy, creating a flexible plan let’s people see that you are organized and intentional.  Communicate this plan internally to your team, give it yourself limits and be willing to change it up.  If the plan is not perfect you can continue to tweak it as time moves on.
  • Recruit A Team:  Never start something new on your own.  Not only will the burden be tough; however, you might miss out on key elements.  You’ll need people helping you with small tasks (i.e. greeting people) and big ones (i.e. reflecting on what works).  A team will help you breakdown and digest the process after it’s all done.
  • Plan To Promote: Whether it’s a one time event or a weekly program make sure you persistently promote to create a buzz.  There is no greater way of spreading word than through a personal invitation.  If you want to start something new you need to make sure you are persistently and consistently getting the word out to your team.
  • Embrace Your Fear Of Failure: Do not be afraid to try something and fail.  In failure you can learn so much about your limits, strengths and weaknesses.  It’s in failure that new opportunities can arrive.  True failure is when you do not allow yourself to ever try something new.

When you start something new you are taking a step forward in your ministry.  It’s another way of thinking outside the box.  New will bring energy, excitement and momentum that can help your ministry grow.  Just make sure you have a plan and a purpose so that you can give the attention and love it deserves.

What obstacles do you face when it comes to starting something new?