New Ministry Development
It seems like you’re interested in starting a new ministry here at Park Church. That’s exciting! Hopefully you’ve heard God’s call to do a new thing, and you’re looking to take the first step towards that here at Park Church. We are excited to begin the process of discerning that with you, and planning for the future. This page outlines our philosophy of ministries here at Park, why we do and don’t do certain things, and the process for getting the new ministry development conversation started.
At Park Church, we believe a few things about ministries that inform the way we think about new (and current!) ministries. We seek to reevaluate all of our ministries regularly according to these ideas, and so they guide our thinking and evaluation of new ministry proposals as well.
First, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
Too much ministry is thrown together and under-planned, and so they fizzle and die. We don’t want that for any number of reasons:
if it’s a good idea to further God’s mission, we don’t want it to fizzle and die,
it doesn’t honor God to do something so poorly, and
the good folks of MoCo are not going to spend their time on something we haven’t spent ours on!
Second, less is most often more. And quality less is always more.
We’ve read and (mostly) bought into the ideas put out in a book called “Simple Church” – you should read it or check out this summary of it. It basically says that when it comes to doing ministry, quantity is always beat out by quality, and quality is defined as feeding into a church’s discipleship pathway. If it doesn’t move people into or along that pathway – if any ministry is an end in itself – it either needs to be re-thought and re-designed, or it needs to go away. Another way to put this is, in some words of Andy Stanley somewhere, “don’t think in terms of what ‘people need’, think in terms of where people need to go”. So when you’re praying about and imagining your new ministry idea, think:
how does this move people to CONNECT with Jesus?
how does this move people to GO and share Jesus with the world around?
how does this move people to SERVE their neighbors in service of Jesus?
how does this move people to GROW together in faith in Jesus?
Third, we want to see people with other people who aren’t like just like them!
There’s a trend in churches to see a ministry for every kind of person: a group for middle-aged bird watchers, a group for young moms with sons named Bart, a group for young professionals who are only slightly professional (you don’t want to be too professional). Sometimes these ministries are good, great, and absolutely the right call for the church. But sometimes they are not. And the problem comes in when churches don’t make thoughtful and prayerful decisions on that and so the “diner menu” fills up, gets too big, and the person who used to make the gyros the right way no longer cooks. This phenomenon is addressed in Simple Church (see above) as to why this “diner menu” way of doing things is a) wrong, b) impossible, c) outdated, and d) actually unhelpful for God’s mission.
That’s why we have decided to invest in Community Groups in the way that we have.
We believe that primarily localized groups of people of all ages, walks of life, stories, and struggles, gathered around a common mission of going and sharing Jesus with their area, is the best way to see people connect with Jesus and grow in him. They’re not always perfect, but no gathering of people are because…well…because of the people part. But that’s ok! We’re a people on the way!
Now this is not to say that your middle-aged bird watching group doesn’t have a shot. It’s just that it has to be clear and intentional in the way it’s reaching out to other middle-aged bird watchers, and connecting them to Sundays and to a Community Group so that each middle-aged bird watcher in MoCo that you encounter can connect with Jesus, go share him with the world, serve others, and grow together.
Pray about this ministry idea. Is it something that God is calling you to? Pray about it, ask God about, ask someone in your Community Group about it. Not in a Community Group? You need to join one.
Fill out the New Ministry Development Form
Fill out this (relatively) simple form. Take a look at it, put some time into providing thoughtful answers, and then submit it when you are ready. The appropriate Park Church staff member will receive, review, and respond in a timely manner to set up the first exploratory conversation.
Get ready to talk it through!
If it’s an idea that we (as a staff/church) think is something God is leading us to pursue, we will kick off a series of guided conversations with you to start envisioning, planning, forming structure, accountability systems, etc. so that your ministry idea does not fizzle out and die. This will take a while. Depending on its complexity or positioning within the overall work of the church (and honestly, depending on our staff’s availability!), this could take a very long while. But if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well! God’s timing. Not ours. We’ll talk it through at a staff and then a staff-elder level. We will work together with you to think through things like vision, defining the wins, resources needed, leadership (structure, development, hand-off plans, accountability, etc.), content, demographics, promotions, how we’d measure success…the list goes on. Oh, and we’ll pray together a bunch! I bet you didn’t realize how much goes in to planning successful, wise, and sustainable ministries!
Step 3 was just the talking/planning part. Now you need to (most likely) build a team around you, get your stuff ready and together, etc. We’ll help you get there.
We’ll help you launch it, and support you, and pray for you, and be excited to celebrate God’s work with you!
Thank you for getting through this page. Obviously, Park Church reserves the right to decline any new ministry idea as many will not fit with our vision/mission, philosophy of ministry, scope, budget, demographic, resourcing, or countless other reasons. But maybe yours is the right fit and God is leading you to lead it. Let’s find out together.