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.


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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{ 38 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.


Ambele October 25, 2018 at 4:42 pm

God bless you for your passion to Him
From Tanzania


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



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.


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.


Jack Wellman February 24, 2019 at 2:01 pm

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


Florence April 14, 2020 at 10:02 am

Sir thank you for telling Gregory the bold truth in love. I pray that God will open the eyes of his understanding in Jesus name


Jack Wellman April 14, 2020 at 10:06 am

You are so encouraging Florence. Thank you so much. I am praying with you for Gregory.


Crystal September 2, 2020 at 8:35 am

Pastor Jack,
Thank you for presenting the truth to Gregory. May he be set free. I am praying for you, Gregory, to.give up this life of sin to follow Jesus so you can have eternal life in heaven. God always gives us free will but loves each one of us so much that He gave us His precious Son to be that bridge. Life can change in an instant and you can end up in eternity. The way is narrow. It is Satan that distorts the truth so people continue in sin but our loving God provides us truth through His holy word.

Sara March 30, 2021 at 3:19 pm


Despite how other people have replied to your above comment, you can still be saved even if you still sin. We all sin; we all fall short. Christ Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. Our faith isn’t proved by our works. Only faith is required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’m sorry if people have discouraged you by their judgemental comments. However, God is not pleased with your way of living, but that doesn’t mean He loves you any less. I pray that you are doing well and God opens your eyes. You can spread the gospel, but don’t condone your own sinful ways of living.


Jack Wellman March 30, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Thank you Sara for your godly words of wisdom and I do pray that your kind and loving words helped Gregory in his doubts. God bless you for that.


Alesia October 29, 2021 at 5:01 pm

Dear Gregory,
Please read Romans 1:26-27
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

My prayers are with you.


Jack Wellman October 29, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Amen to what Alesia wrote from Rom 1:26-27 but please, also read Rom 1:32, Gal 5:21, Rev 21:8, 1 Cor 6:9-10 and please repent of this sexual immorality, for those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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:


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


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.


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.


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.


Kathy Domke October 29, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Hello I am thinking about starting a ministry ( a small one) to help those children who have been bullied in school. I want to incorporate it into my cleaning business I am trying to start. I want to let them know that God loves them and they are loved no matter what they look like or what the other kids say about them. Also to start a Bible study group in a corner of my business. How do I get started in this? Our logo is going to be : we clean your house and your and ministry together!


Jack Wellman October 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Hello Kathy. I would talk to your school counselor or principle about this. Invite church members, neighbors, and friends to your Bible study group.


Martha April 15, 2020 at 6:31 am

Hi, thank you for this article. I am feeling more and more called to start a more formal ministry, but I have no idea where to begin. During this weird flu time (and due to my generally introverted nature, which Holy Spirit is working on!) I’m feeling like I would like to lead an online women’s study group. I have searched the web a bit, and think I need to start a 503 type foundation. Do you have any good resources about best ways to proceed? I am not yet ordained, and most articles I’ve found have been geared toward clergy. I don’t intend to start an actual church, but would be open to hosting small groups in my home or other spaces.

As for the gay man above, Jesus is pretty clear that sex is given us for procreation only. Sex used for ego power or bodily pleasure is a temptation from the Enemy.


William Poole October 14, 2020 at 3:15 am

Jesus never said that sex is given to us for procreation only. In fact no where in the scriptures does it say that. On the contrary, having sex for the pleasure of you and your spouse is encouraged, see 1 Corinthians 7:3
There is also some good stuff in Proverbs on this subject (and elsewhere). Your assertion is false and is a major “turn off” to potential future believers.


Theodore Gadoglo May 3, 2020 at 3:28 am

Thanks for sharing your experience with me.


Sharon May 5, 2020 at 11:08 am

Thank you for your article. It was very helpful. I am about to launch my Ministry of helps for women and men soon. I was enlightening to learn some things I had not considered. What I Love the most was simplicity. The work of the LORD is heavy but not necessarily hard. You just need GOD’s help and your desire and energy. GOD bless you and thank for encouraging and helping the Body of Christ. Remain bold and courageous for the glory of GOD.


Jack Wellman May 5, 2020 at 11:53 am

Hello Sharon. Thank you for such kind words. Such encouragement!!! May God bless you for that.


Juanita Azel May 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm

Praise the Lord!!!
Me and my husband both are passionated to serve God. In our prayer we offered ourselves to God.I hope we will bless through this.


Freda Ogbake November 6, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Hello pastor……..
I am from Nigeria. I have been pondering on something and I want an unbiased opinion. Is there anything wrong or is there a rule about preaching the truth as it is, because I don’t understand why most people tend to butter or sugar coat it. All you hear is how their lives have been better, sin free and smooth since they became born again. It’s like a magic wand that makes everything go away and suddenly everything becomes new. Nobody talks about the struggle and the pain and how darn hard it gets sometimes. I need to know because I would be going into full time ministry soon, I want to know if I have to keep up with the Joneses


Jack Wellman November 6, 2020 at 1:06 pm

Hello Freda. You are so right. It has gotten more difficult and harder the more we have began serving in prisons and nursing homes. With Covid it’s even harder. You are so right…Jesus said “hard is the way and narrow is the path that leads to eternal life” and more so for those who are sharing Christ in mission or a ministry. Prayers for you. I am glad you understand that all who live godly lives with suffer.


Barbara Ann Mack January 28, 2021 at 7:46 pm

Spoken Truth, dear brother Jack. People need to know the truth pertaining to Serving our Great and Holy God and His children throughout the world. Of course the road will get tough at times because we are fighting and going against that which satan, the devil wants to own. We are fighting for and helping the souls that our Holy God has called through His Ministers today.


Sharath October 7, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Praise the Lord God Jesus Christ
Pastor how can I start the ministry


Jack Wellman September 2, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for the encouragment Crystal.


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