A young man in our church approached me in the hallway a few months after the launch of a fruitful aerobics ministry. Carl was a former military man. Apparently, in the military, he taught a form of martial arts. Hearing of the fruitfulness of the aerobics ministry, Carl stated that he wanted to teach this martial arts discipline in our church.

I have nothing against martial arts, Carl, and certainly nothing against new ministries to bring people to the saving grace of Christ and building disciples. Due to the disciplines of martial arts, I could envision a fruitful disciple growing ministry. However, talking with Carl for a couple of short minutes on this day, I knew where this was going.

Like the young lady with the aerobics ministry, I asked Carl to set an appointment, to discuss this ministry possibility and to share with him about writing a ministry plan. Unlike the young lady with the aerobics ministry, I never heard from Carl again about this possible ministry.

In the brief hallway encounter, I could tell that Carl was serious, thinking this could be a great ministry opportunity, and I agree it could have been. I could also tell by his delivery that this would, unfortunately, be a fleeting moment for Carl. A worthy and noble pursuit, his passion would wane and die. I am not certain there was ever any passion in Carl’s heart for this as a ministry. Starting new ministries in the church is a great way to advance the Kingdom of God if those ministries are God sent.

The events of 2020 have provided many wonderful opportunities for new ministries in and through the local church. Yet, we must open our eyes to things we have been closed to in recent years. We must be willingly ready to follow God in His desire to be His church, not the church of our comfort. Regardless of past successes or shortcomings, we must be willing to let go of the grip we have on what we believe in as a church. New ministries, new processes abound and will resonate with the church of the future. In many aspects this church of the future, to be fruitful, will look more like the church found in the book of Acts than what we’ve called the church for the last century.

Below are links to two free resources every church can use for greater impact in ministry. One is a ministry evaluation form. I believe every church should evaluate each ministry every year. You are not going to do away with all ministries but evaluate them for fruitfulness. What functions of the church is this fulfilling? Which parts of the Great Commission have been fulfilled this past year through this ministry? The other resource is a New Ministry Questionnaire. Eighteen questions to answer before starting any new ministry or event in your church. Both resources can be vital to the success of your ministry service to God.

New Ministry Questionnaire – https://soncare.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/New-Ministry-Questionnaire.pdf

Ministry Evaluation – https://soncare.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Evaluating-Ministries.pdf

What is the biggest hurdle for your church in beginning God-sent viable ministries to reach your community? What ministry opportunities has God placed before you/your church in the past 30 days that your church could respond to answering the eighteen questions on the New Ministry form?

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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