By Jana Magruder
If you’re serving in a new ministry role, one of the first things you should do is create a ministry philosophy, even before you start recruiting an army of volunteers for your team. Philosophy is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit and can mean different things to different people. I’d like to focus on philosophy as pointing to the core mission and values you put into place so you can always point back and say, “Our ministry is about this.”
So, what is the “this”?
Here are two questions to help you create a philosophy for your ministry.
- What are the close-handed, non-negotiable parts of my ministry? Take a few minutes to write these down. Think about all the things that you would never let go of, fight for, and stand upon for the ministry God has given you. For example, if you are leading a kids ministry team, it may (and hopefully it does) have something to do with evangelism and the discipleship of children.
- What are the open-handed, variable parts of my ministry? Next, spend time thinking through these items. There likely will be more open-handed items than close-handed. To continue the example of kids ministry, open-handed items may include curriculum choice, the timing of VBS, how to divide classes into age groups, safety procedures, activities, snacks, and so on.
As you can see, there are many decisions about your ministry that can be seen through the lens of opened and closed hands. When it comes to building a philosophy of ministry, it’s important to focus on the non-negotiable portions. What are the essential values, mission, and purpose of this ministry? These should inform your ministry philosophy.
Adapted from Creating a Kids Ministry Philosophy and Discipleship Framework. Check out more kids ministry training videos from Jana and others on Ministry Grid.