Would you agree that ministry can mean different things to many people? While the Great Commission should be the heart of any ministry the means to accomplish this is not always agreed upon. This becomes even more muddled when a group consists of different ethnicities or walks of life.
Wanting to disrupt the direction of the small group structure I focused on a ministry vision planning session. This structure consisted of a sit and discuss scripture to mature believers. While this structure has been the norm I believe churches need to be sensitive to the community needs. During this session I challenged the group to list ministry opportunities where they felt a calling to. This allowed me to gauge where their hearts and passions were.
Talk about amazing results!
A young lady proposed a career clothing closet, career services that included resume building, and job interview coaching. Another, a married couple, proposed expanding an already existing benevolence fund. Out of this exercise the group backed three outreach ministries.
Let me walk you through this vision planning session I conducted.
The How-To’s of Vision Planning
1. Generating Ideas
The goal is to have individuals list as many ideas as possible. It is important that each person has a voice in the exercise. Do not allow couples to submit a combined idea. This idea generating will go on for several minutes until each member has provided at least 5 ideas. This gives you a good number of ideas to work off of. Several ideas will appear similar to those previously stated and that’s ok. Record those as well.
*Your focus at this stage is Quantity!*
Word of caution! Do not work logistics out during this initial stage. This can derail the session in a heartbeat. Attendees will try to hash out the details and you need to reign them back in.
2. Priority Ranking
At this stage of the vision planning the goal is to rank the ideas on a scale of 1-4. Number 1 being the most important and 4 the least. It is imperative that an idea not be presented as not important but rather not feasible due to budget, building constraints, etc. This will avoid hurting the owner’s feeling and keep them involved. The host will ask the group to rank the activity and can be recorded by a show of hands.
3. Implementation evaluation
At this stage the group is in the weeds discussing available resources. Here the attendees will focus on the details like available volunteers, room requirements, additional tools, etc. A rule of thumb, any idea with a number one is considered the easiest. This idea can be implemented in less than three month’s time and requires the least resources. A number 4 will be one that would require a larger budget and resources allocation. For example, recalling the resume services. It was voted to be a “1” priority and “1” for ease of implementation.
Example of Small Group Ministry Vision Planning
This was an effective session as the group backed three ideas. The above picture doesn’t include all the generated ideas but trust me there were many! To date, I have organized one session and have participated in two with great results.
Are you ready to challenge your small group? This is fairly easy to lead and consider me a source should you need help. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.