6 Questions to Ask When Relaunching a Ministry

Posted by Aaron Buer on March 18, 2021

I wonder if your church is in the same place as ours.

While we’ve been able to continue weekend services throughout the pandemic, not every ministry has been meeting in person or even gathering at all.

We’re now at the place of gearing up to relaunch a few ministries.  

How do you relaunch a ministry that has been inactive?

Perhaps more challenging, how do you relaunch a ministry that has been meeting online but with a fraction of the pre-COVID participants?

I have a few thoughts.

Here are six questions to ask when considering a ministry relaunch.

Should We Shut It Down?

If you have a ministry that is barely limping along, you may want to consider shutting it down for a season and relaunching it in the fall.

You may be saying, “Shut it down? Are you crazy?”

It’s much easier to build momentum with a restart.

Think about it. If your youth ministry only has a handful of kids showing up and the momentum is gone, it’s pretty hard to motivate a student to invite his friends to something that feels dead.

Rebuilding a ministry when it’s on life support is incredibly hard.

However, if you shut the program down for a few months and relaunch in September, you can create a sense of excitement and anticipation.

relaunchI’m not saying this is what you should do. I’m saying it’s something to consider.

Who Is on the Team

Here’s the bad news: Relaunching a ministry is hard work.

It will take a tremendous amount of energy and persistence.

This is not something you want to attempt alone.  

There is a reason church plants start with a launch team.

If you want to relaunch your small group ministry, you will need a core team of people to lead the way—people who believe in the mission and are ready and willing to pour themselves into the work.  

Before you attempt to relaunch, identify your key leaders and invest in them over a period of time.

This preliminary work is crucial to a successful relaunch.

Do We Have the Right Leader?

Something to consider: Launching or relaunching a ministry often requires a different skill set than what is needed to manage an already effective ministry.

There is a reason church planters often get a church off the ground and then leave to start a new church.

They are gifted in one area but not the other.  

Here’s my point: The person you hired to maintain and improve your children’s ministry might not be the right person to relaunch your children’s ministry.

Now, I’m not saying fire your children’s director and replace that person with an entrepreneur.

I’m saying you may need to identify an entrepreneur to come alongside your children’s ministry director.

He or she may need help and support.

How Can We Build Momentum?

Our ministry for young adults needs to be relaunched.

Engagement has plummeted through COVID.

This demographic burns out on ZOOM meetings, so many of them disengaged when our ministry went online

One of the strategies we are pursuing to rebuild this ministry is momentum-building events.

Essentially, we are targeting the fall as the big relaunch moment for this ministry.

However, we hope to recapture momentum through community building events in the summer months.  

This strategy could serve you well as you attempt to relaunch your ministries.

As you move toward your target date, schedule a few events to help you build momentum and excitement for the coming relaunch.  


Who Are We Inviting?

Communication is critical for a ministry relaunch.

People won’t show up unless they know it is happening.

I believe the most effective communication is personal communication.

I’m talking about texts, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings.

Yes, you should send out emails and put together a social media campaign, but the most impactful invitation is a personal invitation.  

  • “Dude, we need you there.”   
  • “I really hope you come. I’d love to see you there.”  
  • “We miss you! I hope you come back.”  

Yes, this takes more time and effort, but it’s worth it.

Should We?

Before we close this post on relaunching a ministry, I need to ask you an important but difficult question.

Should you relaunch?

Here’s the deal: Once you relaunch that ministry, you’re stuck with it.  

Is there a more effective way to reach that group of people?

Do you have the wrong person leading that ministry?

Is that ministry core to your mission as a church?

As frustrating as all these restrictions and shutdowns have been, they have provided an incredible opportunity for change.

What I’m saying is it’s a lot easier not to relaunch an ineffective ministry than to shut it down once it’s back in action.  

Before you relaunch, maybe it’s worth asking, “Should we relaunch?”

Topics: Advice

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