Why plan ministries? Can’t we all just show up? Well. . . we suppose that’s possible, but it is certainly not the best stewardship of everyone’s time and valuable ministry funds. The small church often operates on a thin margin of sustainability and accountability to the mission Jesus Christ has given us. The church is called to be stewards of Jesus’ people and resources, all for the building up of the Kingdom of God. We believe those are reasons enough to invest in some simple planning!  As you consider the different expressions of ministry, take note of some common principles for simple, practical, yet effective ministry planning in the small church. Following, you will find the quick list of principles outlined in our newest book, Mission Possible for the Small Church: Simplifying Leadership, Structure, and Ministries in the Small Church. You’ll find a more detailed dive into each principle in the book.


We, Not They – “All Hands on Deck” is the rule, not the exception, so plan with all active attendees of all ages being involved in implementing the ministry, and include the assets of the larger community.


Get Face-to-Face – Focus on building relationships, not complex systems.


Evangelism is not an Extra – Embed evangelism (reaching new people for Jesus) into every ministry, every event, and every opportunity. 


Dream Up and Team Up – Partner with local institutions and nonprofits, especially for organizing the infrastructure for community ministry, leaning on their expertise and organization.


Deep, Not Wide – Who is God calling you to build relationships with? Choose one niche and go deep relationally and with ministries for this one group. You’ll reach more people using fewer resources without burning your volunteers out.


When in Doubt, Experiment – Allow yourselves to try ministry experiments. In a season when many of our inherited ways of doing ministry are no longer effective, try something new every season or at least twice a year.


Simple with a Signature – Instead of having multiple low-impact ministries, take a simple approach by discerning and focusing on one or two signature ministries. 


Keep Accountable – Be good stewards of God’s people and resources by pruning ministries regularly and using the Accountable Leadership Cycle (found in Mission Possible for the Small Church) to keep the church on track and always learning.


If your small church is looking to simplify your ministry to provide a deeper community impact, gather a small team to study Mission Possible for the Small Church.  Your team will find applicable small church resources, suggestions, practical tips, and next steps.  Each chapter includes team questions to help your leaders process the information in the chapter, apply it to your context, and make decisions towards faithful next steps for your church to be more missionally focused to reach more people.  


If you are interested in a Mission Possible for the Small Church workshop or fall cohort experience, let us know Here.