Over the years I have been a part of planning and organizing hundreds of ministry events, programs, etc. When I am considering implementing a certain event or program I try to prayerfully follow a certain criteria in order to determine whether or not it is something that we should do. The following is the list of criteria that I often use:
#1 = EVANGELISM
The first question I always ask is: ‘how will this event or program help us to bring as many people to Christ as possible?’ If the proclamation of the Gospel is not in our vision then the event or program is not worth doing. Everything we do as a church should have as its ultimate goal, the saving of lost souls.
#2 – EQUIPPING BELIEVERS
The local church should be driven by discipleship. Our goal should be to make disciples of Jesus. This is accomplished not only by the proclamation of the Gospel but also by the equipping of believers to do the work of proclaiming the Gospel. This is done through careful teaching of the Word of God so that believers will know how they should live as ambassadors of Jesus. When planning any church event or program, we should always have the equipping of believers in mind.
#3 – ENCOURAGE FELLOWSHIP
Fellowship and community is an important part of the local church. As the body of Christ, we are one family. We are called to care for one another as a family. As family members we should do as much as we can to get to know each other better. When planning various ministry events I like to ask, ‘how will this event bring the church family closer together?’
#4 – ENGAGED IN WORSHIP
The glory of God is the ultimate purpose of the church. Everything we do should be doxological. In other words, it is all for the glory of God. If God cannot be glorified in something that we are doing or planning on doing, then its not worth doing.
In considering the basic criteria for ministry planning I usually observe as a rule of thumb a plus 50% plan. In other words, if we are considering doing something that only fits one or none of the criteria then it simply needs to be trashed. However, if it meets 2 out of the 4 criteria then we should go back to the drawing board and see how we can adjust in order to include at least one more of the criteria. If something we are planning is a 3 out of 4 or 4 out of 4, then it is worth moving forward.
Another thought: Everything we do should be wrapped up in prayer. Sometimes something may be good to do, but it may not be the right time to do it. I have made the mistake many times of planning good and worthwhile events at the wrong time. Therefore, much prayer is needed in ministry planning.