There has never been a better time to launch a ministry than right now. You don’t necessarily need a special education or licence or the official backing of a pre-established ministry. All you really need is a desire to impacting this world for God’s Kingdom, and the commitment it takes to put out good, solid content.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for education. I’m all for having the full support of an established ministry to back you. But I’m also keenly aware of the fact that sometimes that’s just not possible. Sometimes, due to circumstances in life, some people just are not able to acquire a full education in Christian (discipleship? pastoral? evangelism? mission? church planting?) whatever.
And I’m also convinced that you shouldn’t let circumstances prevent you from fulfilling the call God has on your life.
If that call is itinerate preaching, awesome.
If it’s writing, perfect.
If it’s evangelism, wonderful!
Whatever you feel called to, let me offer a quick strategy on how you can use social media to launch your new ministry.
Step 1: Establish a visible online presence
You need a website as a home base. A place where you blog your passion, share your message, post your videos, grow your credibility, establish your vision, connect with your audience and impact lives.
This has to be your own website. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, all of those other social media platforms you’ll have should be an extension of your home base, not a replacement of it.
Step 2: Grow your credibility and trustworthiness
The currency required to establish a ministry in the past was an official document by some official authority that told other people, “this person is legit.” While that document would still be helpful today, it’s not absolutely necessary.
Here are three ways you can grow your credibility through your online platform:
1. Prove your maturity and credibility by producing high quality, high value content on a regular basis.
2. Connect with others in the digital space who have already ploughed the way and established their own credibility. This way you can establish your credibility by way of association.
3. Post videos and still images of your ministry in action. People will want to see *proof* that your ministry is legit. So show them what you’ve been doing.
Step 3: Write a book
We’ve reached the golden age for authors, because anybody can be a author for a relatively low price. AND few things establish the credibility of a person like a book.
Take your message and put it in a book. If that feels like a daunting task then do it like this: write twenty blog articles, then pull them from your website, polish them up, visit createspace.com and publish them.
My friend launched a business/ministry helping churches, schools, parents and students be safe on social media. The best thing he did as he was preparing to launch his ministry was self-publish a book.
Step 4: Be intentional about building an audience
I’m going to take a wild guess here and say, if you feel called to impact people for God’s Kingdom, you probably need to connect with the people you want to impact. Okay, that’s not a guess, that’s a fact.
Grow an email list. Sign up with Mailchimp. Put an email sign-up form on your website. Create a lead-magnet (some sort of free digital gift as a “thank you” and “incentive” for people to sign up). And then email your list frequently.
Be intentional about growing your social media platforms too, but the most important place to connect with an audience is through their personal email.
Step 5: Have a speaking page (or something like that)
Whatever you want to do with your ministry – do you want to be a speaker, preacher, evangelist, freelance writer, whatever – have a page on your website devoted 100% to that ministry, and then point people to it often.
Forgive the terminology, but the page devoted to your ministry *sells* you and your mission to possible events and ministries who share your vision. It should describe your mission and vision, have examples of you living out that mission (if you’re a speaker, provide a clip of you speaking, if you’re a writer, provide links to other websites you’ve written for, etc), and include clear contact instructions.
Step 6: Grow a core of diehards
Put together a private Facebook group of diehards who love your ministry and want to be a part of it. Leverage this group to share content and help get the word out and reach more people.
This core group could make all the difference. You don’t have to go it alone. There are people out there who want to share in the kind of ministry vision you have. Find them and let them help you.
Step 7: Educate yourself
I said earlier that it’s not necessary to get an official document by some authority to establish a new ministry. But if you can educate yourself you should.
As a person with a ministry vision you probably have a well-grounded understanding in your area of calling. But keep the well full by reading books by people who write on the topic of your mission and follow people on social media who share your vision.
In addition to this, it is critical that you stay up to date with social media. I’ve seen too many would-be ministries fail because people jump into social media without learning how to use it strategically, and burn themselves out without getting results.
There are a lot of great and affordable places online where you can join and learn to use social media to its fullest.
I’ll list three off the top of my head.
1. Platform University
Platform University is by far the best out there for what it does and the price it offers. For $30 a month there are great training courses and an awesome forum. The only downside is that it doesn’t specialize in Christian ministry (though there are lots of Christians in PFU – and it’s founder Michael Hyatt is a believer), but it will help you grow your online platform.
2. Social Church Academy
Social Church Academy is very similar to Platform University, but specifically for churches. The founder of Social Church Academy (also founded Think Digital Academy which is for businesses in general), is Justin Wise, author of Social Church and a former pastor. It’s not a bad program and for a fairly good price of only $39 a month.
3. Gospel Sneeze Academy
By way of disclaimer, I’m the founder of Gospel Sneeze Academy. Having said that, Gospel Sneeze Academy is different from Platform University in that it is specific for mission minded Christians, and it’s different from Social Church Academy in that it’s not limited to churches. Gospel Sneeze Academy is entering its beta phase. Beta members will only pay $10 a month and that price will never go up for them.
So there are some ways social media can help you launch a new ministry.
Question: Can you think of other ways you can use social media to launch a new ministry? You can leave a comment by clicking here.