How to Run a Ministry Effectively in 7 Easy Steps

Emma DavisUncategorized 1 Comment

It’s no small feat to run a ministry. It takes dedication and years of sacrifice to lead it well. And no one runs a ministry by themselves. Having a well-organized team behind you is the key to success. We’ve previously discussed how to start a ministry, now let’s talk about how to run a ministry.

Ministries are an important part of any church. A person who goes from place to place explaining the teachings of the Bible and evangelizing can belong to a ministry but may not necessarily belong to a church. That’s because ministry is considered the work of a church. Examples of ministries include Sunday school or Bible study. They can be run through a church and take place at a church, but they’re part of the broader Christian mission. They’re designed to create more disciples and spread biblical teachings.

Just as a church is considered a nonprofit organization, so is a ministry. So let’s take a look at some requirements and steps to run an effective ministry.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

7 steps of effective ministry

There’s no exact science or way a ministry should be run. It all depends on what the ministry is. Do you go into the community to reach the homeless? Does your church support a senior center? Every ministry has its own set of needs, but there are a few things that will help any ministry be the most effective.

Before you begin your ministry, there are legal requirements that need to be set up first. It can seem complicated, so we’ve laid it out step by step to help you out. Make sure to look at any church bylaws as you begin this process. Any religious organization is going to have to follow these same requirements. It’s important to check your church’s bank account and make sure it’s open and follows all the requirements as well.

Attain Tax Exempt Status

Applying for a tax exempt status will allow you to receive grants, donations, discounts, and of course exemption from paying taxes in your state. For a more comprehensive breakdown, check out a complete guide.

a. Consult a lawyer

Please don’t try to start a church without legal counsel. Many lawyers who specialize in a simple non-profit and tax-exempt status will charge you around $1,500-$2,500 to double-check your non-profit documents. This can help relieve wasted time when you’re unsure of what to do next.

b. Organize according to tax-exemption rules

The IRS provides online training for those applying to become tax-exempt. You want to take this training on tax-exempt status. Again, this is the IRS’s official page explaining what you must do in order to properly become and remain a legitimate non-profit entity, which is referred to by the IRS as a 501(c)(3).

To become a non-profit, and therefore become eligible for receiving tax-deductible donations, including online giving and mobile giving, you must apply for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.

c. Ensure your 501(c)(3) status

Once you have completed the 501(c)(3) application, you can then request confirmation of its approval by filling out the IRS’s 1023 form. A must for tax exempt status.

d. Fill out SS4 form to get Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Once the IRS grants you 501(c)(3) status, your church will be an official tax-exempt entity. Then, you will be eligible to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS’s SS4 form.

e. Open a bank account with your EIN

Once you have your EIN, you can do two things next. First, you can use that EIN to open a bank account that belongs to the church. Second, you can hire and pay employees out of that bank account.

2. Gather a Strong Team

With a strong team behind you, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible. No one can do ministry by themselves. It’s important to cultivate a team with positivity and compassion because ministry isn’t always easy. The first key to creating this team is developing the culture. Culture is the set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up the identity of a group. It’s what makes your team unique.

As a leader, you carry the primary responsibility for cultivating and maintaining a healthy culture in your own church. You need to reinforce the desired values and behaviors and have loving confrontations when culture gets off track. Having a church-building team that is focused on growing is key!

Here are a few ways to maintain a strong team:

  • Take a personal interest in the person and their skillset
  • Be clear about what the role entails and what their time commitment will be
  • Recognize that everyone has a different timeline and availability

Community is what church is all about. One of the main reasons people sign up to help in ministry is because they want to make friends and get to know people. Church teams should be communities of people who care about and support each other.

This includes everything from being friendly and welcoming to new members to providing help and encouragement when someone is suffering. People should feel like they belong and bring value to their team. Church team building requires connection to a bigger purpose. It’s not just about the team itself, but about how the team serves the church and furthers its mission–and also about seeing each individual as unique and special.

When people feel connected to a larger purpose, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their work and community. They understand that what they’re doing matters, and that it contributes to something bigger than themselves.

3. Develop a Mission Statement

Dream big, be concise, be precise, and take your time. A mission statement is all about the heart of your ministry. What are you about? If you’ve been tasked with writing your organization’s mission statement, take the time to find at least a few other members of your church to help.

It is crucial to get different perspectives to share the most important details of your church and its goals. Having team involvement can also build more support for the mission you create when trying to gain acceptance.

  • Why does your ministry exist?
  • Who does it serve?
  • How does it serve them?

A mission statement can be powerful and help draw in a much larger following. It can also make it easier to spread God’s message to those unwilling to listen before. Many churches include various outreach and support programs. Your organization’s mission should find a way to combine these programs with other activities to reach various communities. Consider speaking with your church elders or another ministry leader for further inspiration about the values of your church.

4. Create a Name and Brand

A name for your ministry is the first thing people will notice. It will tell people who you are and what you’re about. Make sure whatever name you pick for your ministry, matches whatever service you provide. Helping homeless youths? A name like “Homes for Hope” is something to consider.

Just as with a mission statement, a name says a lot about your ministry. And a brand is the visual aspect. Don’t discount a logo, color scheme and other branding for your church ministries. Consider having a youth ministry with boring sad colors instead of bright and fun colors. It likely won’t draw the eye of the youth. Branding is an important step and this is a part of the process you could partner with your church’s communications or graphics team.

Looking for ministry name inspiration? Check out any of these sights to get the creative juices flowing:

5. Fundraising Efforts

Host an online donation form. Just in case you aren’t ready with your own website yet, you can start spreading the word through social media by linking to your campaign hosted on another platform.

  • Create a branded donation form that you can easily embed into your own website. If you do have your website up and running, you’ll want a donation form you can easily implement on your website with many visible donate buttons.
  • Automate donation receipts with your own customized messaging to save yourself time on administrative tasks.
  • Store donation information so you never lose track of who has given to your organization, how much they’ve given, and when.
  • Manually add offline donors for any in-person contributions you receive.
  • Easily add on text-to-give functionality so your donors can text-to-tithe. More and more churches are choosing to use text-to-give with their congregations.
  • Use crowdfunding as an easy, accessible, and momentum-driven way to get more donations quickly.
  • Pay only when the platform works for you. Try to choose a platform with a small percentage fee based on how many donations you receive, rather than a flat fee you pay monthly. This means that you don’t pay for a service you aren’t using.
  • Ask donors to cover fees. Your supporters want to support you – and they should be able to pay a little more to ensure you receive their full donation.

6. Outreach in the Community

An important step to running any ministry is the outreach you have in the community. A ministry works for the good of the community.

  • Maintain effective communication. Keep members and supporters up-to-date with all of your church happenings with effective communication strategies! Find the right combination of digital, traditional, and face-to-face methods to stay in touch with your congregation.
  • Continue to reach out to the community. Inform community members of your new church and its main purpose to gather new attendees. Be sure to reach out to both unchurched individuals and those involved in other local groups.
  • Welcome new members. When new individuals do walk through your doors for the first time, be sure that you and your team are friendly and welcoming to all. Getting involved in a new church can be nerve-wracking, so you want to make it as easy as possible for new members of all walks of life!
  • Keep a strong leadership presence. Make sure you have the right individuals in positions of power within the church to provide a solid foundation and strengthened leadership team. Leaders must be able to make wise decisions through this time of growth and continuously look to the Lord for guidance.
  • Nurture a strong congregation. Create an environment that encourages strong community relationships by hosting local events, promoting a welcoming environment, and urging everyone to get involved!

You will have created a lasting impact for each member of the church and the community as a whole. Always remember why you’re running the ministry in the first place. There are people with a need we can fill, and this should always be at the front of everything we do!

7. Evaluate the Results

Lastly, once you’ve completed the other steps above, you should evaluate the results. Keep track of what went well and what didn’t. Did your fundraising ideas work? Did your team members feel encouraged? How many people attended your ministry event? Before you have any event, come up with several goals you want to meet and evaluate those results. A good way to measure any success is by setting SMART goals.

  • SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound

Comparison is not good for any organization, but it doesn’t hurt to see what other churches are accomplishing in the community. After all, if there is already a need filled by another local church, then there usually isn’t a need for ten other of the same ministries. There are so many things to consider when evaluating your results.

Church Planting Network

Church planting networks are strategic alliances formed by churches, organizations, and leaders with a shared vision and purpose: to plant and establish brand new churches. These networks provide a framework for collaboration, support, and shared resources to empower church planters in their mission. If you want help, and we all do, then joining a church planting network is a great next step. You’ll be part of a large community that can assist you in the process of creating a ministry. The church planting process is not a decision to be made lightly, just as is starting any new ministry.

ARC Association of Related Churches

Acts 29

  • Acts 29 exists to plant churches worldwide by recruiting, assessing, training, and supporting church planters. They offer church leaders decades of experience-proven training, guidance, and tools for planting churches designed to grow and thrive. The call to make disciples is answered most effectively through gospel-centered churches.

Send Network

The Send Network has helped plant over 10,000 churches since 2010 and has over 47,000 partner churches! Church planting is their strategy to spread the gospel, respond to brokenness, and to bring about restorative healing — spiritually, emotionally, economically, and socially.


Do you feel more equipped to run a ministry? It takes a lot of planning, but with the right team of church members, you’re on your way! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from others that have gone before you.

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