Throughout my years working and serving with churches I have been surprised by how many ministries of the church operate in silos, not working together to build God’s Kingdom. Do you find that you are experiencing overlapping dates, are you overwhelming families having to choose between ministries, and always tapping into the same volunteer base? Collaborative ministry takes time and work, but the success of working together is amazing.
Some ways to address this challenge:
- Have staff and volunteers meet together regularly to brainstorm, vent and plan. In successful meetings participants can share their frustrations with their ministry area. They brainstorm together to develop possible solutions. They repeatedly asked themselves how their ministry area could be part of the solution. A common thread they may hear is ministries not supporting each other in terms of staffing, volunteers, and marketing.
- If you have many families in programs like VBS, Sports Ministry, and childcare but not fully engaged in the life of the church, develop a plan to invite people to take the next step and discover what other ministries the church offers. Be intentional and plan those next steps. For example, throughout VBS share highlights of your worship service and make sure your pastors are involved so families can connect with them in a welcoming environment. Send home flyers/newsletters throughout the week that share your upcoming Sermon Series and ministry happenings. Share entry points where other family members might get connected, especially youth. Follow these steps for all program offerings.
- When hosting community events like a School’s Out Party, Rummage Sales, Bake Sales, Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) etc., use the opportunity to make participants aware of ministry offerings. Help them “Connect the Dots”. Some people just need that simple invite!
- No matter the size of your church, the staff must be a united team and visibly support each other by your presence.
- There are many reasons that feed into ministry areas not working together, the most common being, a lack of shared vision. Always ask the question, “Is this event/program helping achieve the vision of your church?” If not, how can it be readjusted to meet the vision.
Collaborative Ministry is more than teamwork… it is working and serving together to build God’s Kingdom.
Children’s Ministry Advocate