MONDAY-through-FRIDAY MINISTRY IDEAS FOR CHURCHES
Learn how 15 Minutes of Ministry can make a huge impact even if you are stuck at home. For church members, ministry leaders, and occasional volunteers.
Jesus-Style Ministry Anytime (even in a pandemic!)
Whether you find yourself wondering what ministry looks like in a pandemic, or if you are just deeply aware that Jesus-style ministry isn’t just about Sundays, you’ve stumbled onto the right post!
With the pandemic of 2020’s heartbreaking stories, worldwide prayers, and global crisis, many churches are stumped as their doors are temporarily closed. What does ministry look like if it’s not about Sunday morning?
(And, at least for the spring of 2020, what does ministry look like if I can’t even leave my house?)
Well, it looks like what it always SHOULD have looked like. Although most of us logically would say that Christianity is much more than Sunday worship, our modern Christian culture doesn’t necessarily reflect that truth.
We’ve gotten so centralized on Sundays and so compartmentalized the rest of the week, that we’ve lost a lot of the day-to-day, doing-life, breaking-bread, sharing-each-other’s-burdens, type of Christian living.
So, in the midst of a pandemic and beyond, while God fulfills His Word in Romans 8:28,
“ … we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…”
… let’s step up to partner with Him, maybe even in some new ways. Because in the midst of it all, He’s shaking up His Church. And our choice is to either hibernate & isolate, or grow stronger than ever, even without leaving our homes.
Some 21st Century Tools for Weekday Ministry
Pandemic, or not, we aren’t always face-to-face anymore, and this isn’t really new. One of the reasons our modern church has centralized on Sunday morning ministry is because of our busy-ness, work schedules, society mobility, and more.
And while it’s beautiful to be physically together in community, it isn’t always possible. However, modern technology gives us the opportunity to be together in a new way. We can reach the social-isolating, the home-bound, the out-of-town worker, or those who just don’t want to drive at night.
Here are a few tools to explore:
Private Facebook Groups for Small Churches
While facebook gets a bad rap as a time-waster, with some intention it can become a tool for deep ministry and growing relationships. One way is to start a private facebook group. (This is different than having a church “page.”)
Having a private group allows for safe sharing, group rules & accountability, and deeper relationships. You can set up a group for your whole church, a small group Bible Study, a ministry team, or a special interest.
ZOOM Video Calls in Church Ministry
Video conference calling is easier than ever before and affordable. ZOOM is one company that makes it simple. At the time of this writing they are offering free accounts. You may find even paying the regular low monthly cost is well worth the connection it provides.
With ZOOM, you can invite people to a video call on their laptops, tablets, or phones. Watching someone on video builds a connection that doesn’t happen in other electronic communication.
Email for Sharing Encouragement in Churches
Don’t neglect the power of email in ministry. The written word will always be a powerful tool of communication, and email is part of the package. Amidst the spam and marketing messages, it’s refreshing to see an email from a friend, a ministry leader, or a pastor, whether it is a group (batched) email or an individual, personal email.
While group emails are a useful tool, a personal email is set apart in a different way. Knowing someone thought about me as an individual, enough to drop me a line, a scripture, or an encouraging thought, well, that makes an impact.
Phone Calls for Outreach and Building Relationship “Dates”
While our phones sometimes feel like appendages to our own bodies these days, we don’t always use them as the relational building tools we should! In the “old days” when phones were attached to walls, we had to make an intentional choice to have a conversation, because it meant NOT doing other things at the same time. I remember these days, do you?
While modern day texts, chats, and insta-everythings have changed these coveted phone calls into things we take for granted, we can still return with intentionality to planning phone dates of valuable relational gold!
Snail Mail Still Rules
Yes, pen & paper and envelopes & stamps make my list of 21st Century Tools! And I hope snail mail never goes away.
Hanging above my dresser are a handful of handwritten cards and notes I’ve received over the past few years. There are only few, because they are the only ones I’ve received. I cherish them and they bring me joy and lift my spirit … even years after they were written.
Don’t neglect this often forgotten tool to show love, care, and encouragement.
Read more about how to dust off another under-utilized tool in your church: STRENGTHEN YOUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY … EVEN WHEN YOU CAN’T BE TOGETHER.
COUNT THE COST & COMMIT
Decide to Make a Change
If you’ve ever made New Year’s resolutions, you know they usually don’t stick! Resolutions often don’t last through the month of January because a realistic plan doesn’t accompany the dream!
So instead of ministry being one of those things full of unrealized dreams, let’s put some follow-through to our intentions.
Assess Your Time
We are not called to burn out, but we are called to serve. If you are a Jesus-follower, you are CALLED (not requested) to be an integral part of your church body, to share God’s Word, to encourage, and to love. And, that is ministry.
The question isn’t do you have time for it. Ask yourself these questions instead:
- How much time do I have?
- What are my best times to reach out?
- What are my other commitments?
- Where do I waste time?
Start small and just make a commitment to week-day ministry. Maybe you can commit to 15-minutes a day, or maybe it’s 15-minutes just once a week. Assess what you are already doing: work, family, community, church ministry.
Doing something is always better than intending to do more and doing nothing.
Set Up Your System
There’s something about a system that keeps us on track, moving forward, and holds us accountable. Having a system takes into account the time, the tools, and the plan to make something happen.
Choosing consistent times and committing to a system may just change your intention into reality.
So here’s one model of Monday to Friday ministry. It’s based on 15-minutes a day. Feel free to adopt it, adapt it, or make up a brand new system of your own.
MONDAY: Post a Worship Song of the Week
Post a Worship Song for the Week on your church facebook page or group or your personal social media accounts. Simply link to your favorite worship song on youtube.
While worship music might be an integral part of your day, many people need a nudge. And, as we know, people’s hearts are changed by worship. If you post a worship song on a set day each week, many will anticipate and look forward to your weekly pick!
TUESDAY: Have a Phone Date
Whether you set one up ahead of time, or simply start working through your contact list or church directory, having a weekly phone date with someone in your church body will change you.
The purpose of this call is simply encouragement and touching base with people in your church, reaching out in relationship and care.
It might feel a bit scary or intimidating to call people you have never reached out to. But do it anyway!
It will become a habit and a blessing. Here’s an easy way to start a conversation: “Hi Debbie. It’s Laurie from church. I was just calling to see how you are doing. What has your week been like?”
WEDNESDAY: Send a Group Email
Do you have a group of friends or a team you serve with? Do you teach a class? Are you on staff?
Send a group email once a week with an encouraging word, a thoughtful question, or even a simple scripture.
Don’t overthink this or spend more than 15 minutes. If you send the group email to the same list of people, they will start anticipating your connection and look forward to receiving it.
THURSDAY: Show Up On Video
Whether you set up a Zoom Call, do a Group Facetime, or post a Facebook Live, get started with video.
Video is not going away and we need to use it in ministry! Showing up on a screen when you can’t be there in person is a beautiful thing.
If this stretches your comfort zone, great! That’s how we grow. The more you show up on video, the more comfortable it becomes and the less you care about your hair. In the process, you connect with more people and deepen relationships.
The first time is the hardest, so just jump in. We, the church – especially small churches – need to hop into this tool for relevant ministry!
FRIDAY: Snail Mail
The fact that receiving a personal note in the mail these days is so rare is EXACTLY why it’s an incredible ministry tool. It stands out, it is treasured, and it is usually the most valued piece of encouragement.
So, go to the post office or order some stamps online, and commit to writing one ministry note each week. Get a book of 50 stamps so you can watch the stamps disappear throughout the year like a satisfying checklist!
While writing one note a week may not seem like a huge step, over the course of the year you would have sent 52 notes though the mail. And they will be treasured.
Consistency is Key
If you’ve assessed your time, decided on a plan, and set up a system, your final step is to be consistent. Developing habits is a key to changing your life, your ministry, and your impact.
By doing something at the same time each week, a few things happen:
- Your intention becomes habit
- Your heart opens to new people in new ways
- You develop leadership skills like perseverance, follow-through, and dependability
- Others look forward to your encouragement
- You fulfill your call to be a light in the darkness, and salt in a world that is losing its saltiness!
If you find yourself saying “But my church doesn’t even have a facebook” or “I’m not on the church staff” or “This isn’t my responsibility” …
I challenge you to think again. You ARE the church. And you are a vital member in the body.
Don’t expect your pastor, your staff, or your ministry leaders to do all the ministry in the church. Instead of thinking someone else should do this, step up and take your place.
Take your place in the Body of Christ.
Church Ministry on Sundays AND During the Week
Of course we love our Sunday morning worship, our Sunday small groups, and our weekend gatherings as a church body. These are vital parts of church fellowship and community.
But we often slip into making ministry programming the focus, and we neglect the relational ministry that happens outside of the collective groupings.
Our Sunday morning Hello’s have sufficed for far too long. While we may personally feel connected with our own inner circle friendships, the reality is that many people in a church body never quite feel all the love.
Instead of functioning as a body, with each body part fulfilling their needed mission, the modern church is often disjointed and living the 80/20 rule of participation and leadership.
Practicing Monday-through-Friday Ministry can lead to great change.
Your jumping into Monday-through-Friday Ministry could just be the start to turning the tide. See if it doesn’t just change your own heart and mindset as you commit to a new system. Teach others to do the same for even more impact.
Please share this post, and if you are in a small church join our facebook group for more encouragement, ideas, and ministry resources. Click here: Solutions & Support for Small Churches.