We have a lot of haphazard ministry being done in our churches around the world. Good people, who love God, aren’t thinking through what God has called them to do. Ministry is too important to be done haphazardly. We can’t just say, “I’ll give it my best shot!” We need to think through what the ministries in our church are all about. Our ministries must be good stewards of all they’ve been given. For that to happen, we’ve got to plan ministry strategically.
There are seven important questions that need to be answered when you’re planning an effective ministry. These are questions for any healthy ministry – whether it’s your music ministry, greeters, small group leaders, or any other ministry team. They are listed below.
Marriage Laws: In this section, there is a video that describes all the laws in the various states about which ones require a letter of good standing and credential and which don't. There's also a list, so you'll know the legalities of performing a wedding in the various states.
The Marriage Ceremony: In here, I'd like to talk with you about being a wedding minister. How do you set yourself up? What do you do at a consultation? What do you wear? What happens during the processional? All of these things are covered, along with a lot more, like processional examples, which is a common question from couples.
The Funeral: Many ministers are intimidated when it comes to funerals. This article will help take out the mystery and let your confidence shine through. You'll learn a lot about funerals and how to conduct them in a professional manner.
Wiccan Training Pages: This section has a number of different articles written about Wicca. If you've ever been curious about it or it strikes a chord in you and you want to learn more, this is the place to look. Compliments of Lord Starwalker, among others.
Starting Your Own Church: If you are interested in starting your own church, please review these pages and feel free to use the samples to help you in your own quest to start a new church. There are samples of different things you need to file with the state or IRS.
Possession and Demons: This section was written by one of our ULC ministers to share some of his insight on Possession and Demons. There are those who disagree with this concept entirely and those who believe in it whole-heartedly. This is one person's interpretation of the concept.
Coping with Transition Anxiety: If you are asked to help someone make a transition from living independently, to moving to assisted care living, then this article may help address some concerns that will arise. This material can easily overlap into other areas where the information still applies.
10 Commandments: This is a short discourse about the varieties of the 10 commandments that have been debated between the various religions for centuries. It's interesting to understand the differences in the various 10 commandments and it's good for our ministers to have a firm grasp of the different religions.
Being A Minister: This is an insteresting talk about what it means to be a ULC Minister. It's a great way to look at how we deal with other people, what we can do for our communities and how we can best serve ourselves and the other people we come across.
Seven Questions About Being A Minister: To be a minister, consider these seven major questions about what you're doing with your ministry and why you're doing it. This essay may help you focus your ministry needs and goals.
Seven Questions to Ask Every Christian Ministry Leader
by Rev. Galen Craft
1. Why are you here?
Every ministry in your church should have a clear idea of what it’s all about. Each one needs a purpose statement. You develop that statement by asking two questions: What is the business of this ministry? And what is none of this ministry’s business?
What’s the business of our church? We attract members, teach them to worship God, develop them to Christ like maturity, and mobilize them for ministry in the church and a life mission in the world. We do that in each stage and segment of their lives. If something doesn’t fit within that mission statement, we don’t do it.
Every ministry within your church needs a purpose statement like that. Ask each ministry: What do you do and what do you not do?
2. What purpose of the church does your ministry fulfill?
Every ministry in your church should be tied to at least one of the five purposes of the church. Is this ministry designed to exalt Christ (worship)? Is it designed to reach out to the community (evangelism)? Is it designed to deepen relationships within the church (fellowship)? Is it designed to build people into Christian maturity (discipleship)? Is it designed to serve the needs of the church family (ministry)?
As a pastor, you need to make sure that each of your ministries does one of these five things. If it doesn’t, your church doesn’t need to be doing it.
3. Who are you trying to reach?
You need to figure out who your ministry is trying to reach – the Community, the Crowd, the Congregation, the Committed, the Core, or the Commissioned. Ministries trying to reach the Community are evangelistic in nature. Ministries that serve those during weekend services are focused on the Crowd. Ministries focused on church members will work with the Congregation. Ministries that help people grow spiritually will center on the Committed. Ministries that meet the needs of people within the church or try to get people involved in the ministry of the church will focus on the Core. And the ministries that help those who’ve committed to be involved in missions will need to focus on the Commissioned.
You need to know who your ministry is trying to reach. The Community has different needs than the Committed. The Congregation has different needs than the Core. Knowing who your ministry is trying to serve will influence how the ministry operates.
4. Where do you believe God is calling your ministry to be in six months?
This is the stage where your ministry leaders dream. Where would they like to see the ministry six months from now? If your ministry leaders can’t think about the future, they aren’t ready to lead the ministry. Ask your ministry leaders to get away with God and talk to him about the ministry’s future.
5. How does your ministry do what it has been called to do?
Did you know that your body has nine systems in it? When any one of those systems gets out of order, it’s called an illness or disease. The church (the body of Christ) has systems in it as well. And for us to be healthy our systems have to work properly. How do your ministries do what they’ve been called to do? Ask your ministry leaders to think and pray about how to do ministry more effectively.
6. Who can you partner with to do what God has called you to do?
Your ministry leaders need to constantly be on the watch for people who can join them in ministry. Ask your ministry leaders to begin praying for at least one person who should be joining their ministry team.
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray for laborers.” Ask your ministry leaders to begin praying for more laborers.
7. In what way do you serve people?
Your ministries should serve the people in your community. Are you meeting physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual needs (or a combination thereof)? All of those needs are valid. Part of understanding the identity of your ministries is to know how each of them serves people. Then look for ways you can add value to the services those ministries provide. In other words, look for ways each of your ministries can do a better job providing for the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual needs of the community.
My first wedding gave me an unusual opportunity to get creative. Much to my surprise, the owner of this lovely outdoor venue "took charge" of the processional rehearsal. This being my first ever, it seemed wise to be the observer for a moment and to only step in if necessary.
This was an outdoor wedding with a bride who had several grown sons whom she wanted to walk her down the aisle, along with her dad! Imagine standing up front as the bride proceeds up the long boardwalk with all four of her sons and her dad in tow. Time to step in. Laughing, I waved my arms and said, "Wait! It looks like the Mob is following you!"
I noticed that there were fancy light posts along the boardwalk, so I instructed the sons to each take a post and wait for the bride to reach them, and then walk her to the next person, who would then proceed to the next, and so on, like passing the baton in a relay match. That way there was only one escort at a time with the bride so she wasn't lost in the crowd. Then after her dad handed her off to the groom, the brothers could all come take their places. It turned out beautifully.
I have since become the preferred officiant for this venue (and I still let the owner have her part in the rehearsal, which often saves me time), so everyone was happy!