How to Start a Ministry: Spreading God’s Love in Your Community
Ministering – aka serving – is the best way to share God’s love in your community. It’s a form of discipleship and points people to Jesus Christ. However, when God calls you to start a ministry outside of your church family, it can be daunting. Where do you start? How do you get involved? Who can you talk to?
Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities to minister in your local community! Start by simply getting involved. Ask questions, seek opportunities, and pray for guidance. As you become more involved outside of the church, you’ll find more opportunities to serve others.
At Eternal Walk Ministry, we’re involved with quite a few ministries in the Frederick, Maryland community, so we have the experience and the know-how to help you get started. Here are a few ministries we currently serve in:
- Rescue Mission
- Nursing Homes
- Senior Complex
- Local Detention Center
- Private Homes
- Street Ministry
- Soup Kitchen
- Prayer Breakfast
- Other Community Ministries
The first ministry for Eternal Walk was at the Frederick Rescue Mission which is a residential home for men recovering from addiction. A member in our church was on the board of directors and sought volunteers to help teach a Monday night class. We jumped right in and now we teach six classes per week!
Always keep your ears open for volunteer opportunities and take the position if your schedule permits. Make sure the position allows you to minister to anyone who desires to listen and remember to always pray first.
Helping these men in overcoming their addiction requires a nonjudgmental, compassionate heart with knowledge of biblical scripture and the worldly effects of addiction. Unfortunately, addiction has strong, negative effects on a person’s body and mind. However, there are courses available at local colleges to become certified in addiction counseling, so you can prepare yourself for these difficult conversations. Members of the Eternal Walk Ministry have received this certification to better understand the road to recovery, how to relate, and the best approach to teach.
Eternal Walk Ministry was brought in to help teach a weekly class at a local nursing home by joining a Christian friend who was currently teaching. The lady that manages the nursing home was a member of the church we attend, and we are good friends with her and husband. After a few months of teaching a weekly Bible class, the manager asked if we could provide a worship service on the first Sunday of the month. We now hold the monthly worship service and have found members of the church family to participate in the worship.
Teaching a weekly Bible class and providing worship at the nursing home requires knowledge of scripture to help bring God’s love, peace, and joy, so senior residents can be uplifted and relaxed knowing the Lord is with them now and forever. Our words are spoken with gentleness, compassion, and clarity.
You’ll find that teaching Bible classes in nursing homes is a unique opportunity. Usually, there are very little or no comments from the class, because most residents are listening carefully. As a result, you’ll have to be prepared to lead the bulk of the conversation.
We have a member of the Eternal Walk Ministry who lives in a senior complex and helped us get this ministry started. We teach a weekly Bible class with four members of the Eternal Walk Ministry attending. When we started, we asked the resident manager for permission to create the class, and since a worship service was already being conducted on Sunday with good attendance, he had no problem.
Many of the people in this class already have a good foundation of God’s Word, which allows us to dig deeper into themes, principles, and interpretations. On some days, we will play a Christian movie and the next week, we will host a meaningful discussion on what we saw.
Local Detention Center
Eternal Walk Ministry also teaches a bi-weekly Bible class and provides a worship service one Sunday every month at the Frederick Detention Center. As you can imagine, there are many rules and regulations that must be followed in order to teach a Bible class at the Frederick Detention Center. Once a year, we are required to attend a complete indoctrination to these rules and we are issued new ID badges.
The men at the detention center are usually there for less than 18 months and then move back into the community. Depending on their situation, they’ll go back home to family, enroll in the Rescue Mission, or stay at the homeless shelter. Fortunately, most of these men remember our presence and impact while they were incarcerated. They help make the Eternal Walk Ministry known throughout the community by sharing their testimony.
In this ministry, it is critical to show respect and to always be encouraging. We avoid making these men feel guilty about their past because they may possibly go back to their cells depressed or angry. Instead, we want them to know that God doesn’t see their prison uniform. God chooses to see the good in their hearts and has forgiven them of their past transgressions. These men desperately need to know the truth; there is hope in Jesus Christ. God wants the best possible life for them and we help share this message of hope.
Teaching Bible class in a private home usually requires you to know the person. If the person is unable to make it to church due to work or physical trouble, then we offer to teach a Bible class in their home. We always have at least two members of the Ministry teaching in home classes. We always thank the people for opening their home to us and for their kindness.
We share words that are encouraging and uplifting to these residents. Depending on our understanding of the people who host us, we may approach the lesson differently in each home. The truth can be convicting, so we depend on the Holy Spirit to give us the words that the people need to hear.
Eternal Walk Ministry now participates in door-to-door ministry. We hand out our Eternal Walk brochures and briefly share news about our ministry with local residents. We tell them about our online ministry, which includes the Eternal Walk website, daily messages, library, and monthly blog.
We usually have two members from the Eternal Walk team lead the door-to-door ministry. Our intent is not to preach. If residents are not interested, we thank them for their time and politely leave. It’s vital to not be pushy or reveal any anger.
So far in this ministry, we found that roughly 65% of residents really do not want to be interrupted because they are conditioned to expect salesman or someone asking for donations. Therefore, we do face rejection. However, we proudly wear our Eternal Walk Ministry apparel (shirts and jackets) and convey to them we’re neither selling anything, nor seeking donations, nor preaching to them. We leave the brochure, which points them to our website, and if they’re interested, we quickly tell them about the purpose of the ministry.
The soup kitchen is a food service provided for the homeless in Frederick, Maryland each night. Eternal Walk team members and church goers serve the meals periodically. During this time, we both serve and engage in friendly conservation.
We show respect and kindness to the homeless no matter how they may act to us. We aim to reflect God’s love and care in our interactions. Our efforts are rarely met with incivility. We also provide treats at the all-weather shelter, such as cookies, fruit, and water.
We also always display the Eternal Walk Minister poster so people recognize the purpose of the ministry; to go out into the community to help people and bring the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s amazing to see how much people appreciate Christ-like people coming out into the community and helping others. Our desire to sit down with people and get to know them personally means a lot to those we serve.
A monthly prayer breakfast and a Bible study is a great way to introduce people and get them connected to a church. The breakfast is held at the church facility, where the majority of men attend church. However, we always seek to bring new people from the Rescue Mission, Homeless Shelter, or a friend or neighbor.
The class is taught each month by a different member in the group, and that person picks the topic. The level of the study is geared by the Biblical knowledge of the people in the class. This has turned out quite successful with some great Biblical studies.
According to Internet World Stats, more than 4 billion people are online. That’s a lot of potential for spreading the Gospel.
We use our website as a way to minister to online users by providing daily messages designed to encourage readers in their spiritual walk with Christ. We try to combat the disturbing negativity from mainstream media (i.e TV, movies, newspapers, etc.) through online daily messages, a library, and a blog.
You can also leverage social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more to help grow your audience and share God’s love.
Make Yourself Known in the Community
We seek to make the Eternal Walk Ministry known in the community by:
- Serving those in need
- Teaching classes
- Distributing helpful resources
We pass out brochures, magnetic bumper stickers, and 8-10-page paperback books, written by Eternal Walk Ministry, to the Frederick, Maryland community and surrounding areas. Some of our books include:
- Finding Peace in a Troubled World
- Loving God, Why Troubled World
- Renewing the Mind
The Eternal Walk Ministry is becoming more known, and God is continually opening doors for our ministry. We also provide Bibles, help people move, provide transportation, and assist with any other needs a person may have.
Members of the Eternal Walk Ministry also attend prayer breakfasts at other churches and meet with other Christian men through Waterboyz. This is a group of men throughout the country that meet in small groups of approximately five men once per week at a local coffee house or restaurant. Participating in other ministries is a great way for Eternal Walk Ministry to become more known in the community.
When your desire to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to lost souls outweighs your fear, all things are possible. The Holy Spirit is very active in the lives of people who are on fire for the Lord and seek new ways to minister. Keep praying for the Lord to open doors and He will make your path straight.