How Can You Start Your Own Ministry?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

How can you, even being one person, start your own ministry?

Trial and Error

I should have received more training or read more on the subject of starting a ministry before I began one, because I was a comedy of errors along the way. My first ministry was actually started by God’s providence because I wasn’t planning on beginning a nursing home ministry. It just worked out that way. One of our elderly church members broke her hip. Sadly, she was never going to be able to return to church, so I thought, “Hey, I can bring church to her” and I did. I started with a short, 1 hour Bible study on Wednesday nights. I invited a few other residents and they came. They missed hearing the Bible read. They missed having someone to talk to and listen to them. They missed sharing of the memories of their life, which in many cases, is all they had left…so all of this led to a nursing home ministry that God had apparently planned long ago (Eph 2:10). I contacted the administrator, then I spoke with the activity director, I filled out a volunteer application, so they could run a background check on me, and then the activity director placed our Bible study on her calendar of events that the nursing home publishes, and it grew a bit more. This terrible accident of a godly woman in her 80’s led to a ministry that I hope can touch the lives of others. By doing this, I pray our church can practice pure religion before God (James 1:27).

Your Greatest Passion

Can you think of something that you love more than anything else (besides sleep, food, etc.)? If you can identify what you’d love to do more than anything else, if only you had the money, what would that be? If you know what that is, then you may have found the source of your own ministry. I have read stories of children who had a passion for underprivileged children and sought funds to send them a care package. That is something that the young boy must have had on his heart for a long time. He wanted to do something with that urge to help, and so he did, and so can you! He told one reporter that he was about to “bust if I didn’t help them.” To him, there was no deed so small that is not worth doing. Jesus said “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matt 10:42). A cup of water might not seem much to you, but when you’re thirsty, it’s all you can think about! Some people love to visit people, so why not start your own “Visitation Program” through the nursing home. Our church found a list where you can write prisoners seeking letters. Many of these men came to trust in Christ through written correspondence, not so much by what was written, but that someone cared enough to write.

Doors that Open

God is the One Who opens doors that none can close, and closes doors that none can open, so trust God to help open a door somewhere along the way for what your passion is. If He doesn’t open one right away, take heart, He is always working, unseen by human eyes, on something that will bring Him glory. Woodrow Kroll said, and I paraphrase, “If you don’t find an open door, climb through a window.” God may test the genuineness that you have for this ministry, whatever it may be. Nobody I know was able to start a ministry right away. They did just like I did; trial and error, learning as much how not to do it as how to do it, and that’s fine. I do think it’s best to do some research in the area that you’re interested in. If you want to visit the sick, know what to say and what not to say. When you write or visit prisoners, what are the protocols of each institution that are required by law? In helping the poor, we can sometimes enable those to continue in their sinful lifestyle, like drugs or alcohol. Seeking godly counsel is always a good idea or asking someone who has already been in the ministry that you want to do.

Starting a Ministry

If you have identified your passion, you may have identified your mission. I love visiting the elderly because they are so lonely and receive great satisfaction when they have someone to talk too, so the ministry I do in the local nursing home fits nicely with what my heart desires. I love to reach the lost for Christ, so writing and visiting prisoners was a field of harvest. Just ask people you know about it, someone who’s actually done a similar or same ministry, research and read on what is required of you and what are things you should avoid. The sources these days for missionary work or church and individual ministry is mind boggling. Maybe you can just “jump in” in some cases, but most of the time it’s a learning process, and like me, it was a “learning-the-hard-way” process. That’s okay. This makes you not forget and repeat the same mistake twice (or at least, three times). After you have begun your ministry, and it starts to grow, ask for some help. There may be others who feel the same way you do about your passion. That might start something, but even if it’s a small, random act of kindness, that too is a ministry, and this world sorely needs to be ministered too.

Conclusion

As you have read, I cannot boast or brag about starting any ministry, because it was God Who began a good work in me but also allowed me to do good for Him and for His glory. He allowed my mistakes to teach me, “how not to do it.” The Bible can tell us things we can do for God like visiting the orphans and widows in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living care centers, or even at home for those who are shut-ins. Jesus gives us more of what we should be doing for others, as doing it for Him: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:36-37). Jesus sees it “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40), which is why He says, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34), however to others, He will say, “’as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt 25:35-36).

Take a look at this related reading: How to Start a Prison Ministry

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Juliana Faucher November 19, 2017 at 6:17 am

Awesome read! I would like training to be a lay person in my community, & to start God’s work through preaching. I love talking to all types of people.
Sincerely
J

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Ambele October 25, 2018 at 4:42 pm

God bless you for your passion to Him
From Tanzania

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Gregory February 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm

I am in same sex relationship, my live is in the Philippines and I wish to move to be with my partner, I am Christian, and wish to start a ministry for the LGBTQ community as I understand how difficult it can be to be accepted, my live and I truly love each other, and my wish is to help others come to the teachings of Jesus, omitting lust and carrying into love for one another, as well so wish to open a little cafe that will dedicate it’s time to extensive Bible studies and meeting place for all wealthy, poor, a place where church can help and eventually build a community that supports itself and helps others, please advise how I can get minimal funding, so that I may open the “Salt Of The Earth Cafe & Ministry” in the Philippines with my beloved partner, and preach the gospel to all who will listen

God bless

Gregory

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Jack Wellman February 12, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Hello Gregory. The truth is, you cannot practice a life of sexual immorality, like same sex relationships, and enter the kingdom (Gal 5:19-21). It is not possible. Read 1 John 3 and see that no true Christian continues to live in sin. You cannot teach the Word of God if you are not obeying the Word of God. Please repent of this and ask God to help you overcome this, and then you can begin your ministry.

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Emmanuel February 24, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Hello Jack

Thank you for telling him the truth, for only the truth can set him free.

Gregory, Jesus loves you and died for you to be delivered from homosexuality. Repent and accept his love and you will experience a wave of joy, peace and love within.

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Jack Wellman February 24, 2019 at 2:01 pm

Thank you my friend. I will pray with you for Gregory to repent of this.

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Jane smith February 27, 2019 at 4:18 pm

I would like to start up a ministry for single parent/broken families. my heart really goes out to single parent as I look and see their day to day struggles, and I have lived through the experience of being a single parent and so I want to give back to those singles, with my time and resources. how do I go about it.
Thanks
Jane

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Jack Wellman February 27, 2019 at 5:23 pm

Hello Jane, I would first of all tell your pastor and see if you can use church facilities for meetings and also see if other believer’s could join with you to help you in this. Most of the ministries I started were by me making many mistakes and not knowing what I was doing. Talk to social services, your church, even your doctor…Start by beginning a Bible study for Single Parents…in home or in the church somewhere or even the city community center.

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andrew okolo March 12, 2019 at 12:23 pm

i am a 35 year old man.Things are really not going well for me.i have no money or job.i have been told several times by different servant of God that i have the call of God upon my life.i enrolled in a bible school but could not continue due to lack of finance.I need help and encouragement on how to go about this call.Thank you.

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Jack Wellman March 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm

I would talk to your pastor about this. Anyone that God wants to go to Bible school, He will provide a way if it is His will.

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Brian Kamelang May 9, 2019 at 8:18 am

I am attending a bible college right now. but after the college I have a desire to start a ministry that include youth and children.

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Shiromi July 5, 2019 at 9:40 pm

I am from sri lanka .am always thinking to pass gods love to everybody .give his word to everybody. I really like to start a small ministry. How can I fo that

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Della July 10, 2019 at 8:55 pm

This is my third year of going to Kenya and Uganda to minister. The services are scheduled/organized by 2 pastors there (one in Kenya, one in Uganda) My first trip was 3 weeks, second 86 days, 3rd 76 days. Except for small donation from a few places (around $700), I funded everything (funded the meetings, transportation, accommodatikns, food) from my own savings. I was thinking of giving the ministry a name, and possibly applying for 501.c.3 since I am not doing for profit, nor to receive, nor expect to receive payment. But I wasn’t sure that 501.c.3 is necessary. Do you have any advice on this? Thanks

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Jack Wellman July 10, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Hello Della. It is not cheap to become incorporated, as an LLC, which is what they recommend. It does put your assets at risk if you go into the red, but you don’t really need a 501c3 because it has a lot of red tape with it. Here’s more on what is all involved (and it’s a lot!). Thank you for your question. Click here: https://www.501c3.org/what-is-a-501c3/

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Terri Loewen August 23, 2019 at 9:54 pm

When Jesus was speaking of “the least of these…..”, he was referring to those inside the family of God, not those outside. That’s not to say that God doesn’t teach us to bless those outside of the Church, but please, use scripture accurately. Thanks

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Jack Wellman August 24, 2019 at 10:16 am

If we are to pray for enemies and bless those that curse us (all outside the faith) then I stand by what it says…the least of these can be any as they may end up as our brothers and sisters, so if you only treat members of the church this way, and not the world, that’s hypocrisy. Jesus said they (all people) will know we are His disciples by our love (John 13:34-35), so if you treat outsiders less than loving and do unto the least of these, you are judging and showing partiality. That is sin. Please read this in context and not rip out of context to create a false pretext as you have done.

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Paul September 11, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Hi Pastor, im 27 yrs old from philippines. and i feel the call of God to my life, and i have the opportunity to start a ministry because my auntie offered me her building to start there, i feel the compassion to the community i feel that community realy needs God. but my problem is the place im going to start is 2km away from my current church, How should i tell my pastor about that.

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Jack Wellman September 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Hello Paul. Thank you for contacting us about this ministry you want to begin, but the distance 2Km is not a factor, or shouldn’t be to the pastor or the church. Why do you think he might not approve? It is not only up to him but the church in general. The old saying, “Bloom where you’re planted” is perfectly suited to your case, whether 2Km away or right next door to the church. Distance shouldn’t matter…it doesn’t matter to God. It is for Him anyway.

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