5 Core Ministries Your Church Needs
The church has changed significantly over the years as the needs of the culture have evolved. Expressions, buildings, and traditions have changed. However, there are key functions of the church that are necessary to thrive, grow, and reach more people. Here are the 5 ministries that the local church needs and that you need to develop for the sake of your congregation.
1) Praise and Worship
The Bible is overflowing with examples of worship, both outwardly and inwardly. Praise shows our devotion and brings us together and is a cornerstone of our faith. We strive to follow the example of King David: "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." (Psalm 146:1-2). In doing so, we can worship in accordance with scripture and focus our attention from ourselves to the Lord.
How we do this as a congregation can vary from church to church. Contemporary churches may worship with large bands and rich creative experiences, while traditional churches may connect with God through hymns and traditions from the history of the church.
As long as we are honest and sincere in that praise and worship, we can express it in many forms. So, a good ministry should encourage this expression and evolution of practices where appropriate. Work to bring the congregation together with a shared voice and expression of love.
2) Local Outreach
It can be easy to get caught up in our own lives and problems and forget that there are people in our own neighborhoods who are going through similar or worse things.
One way we can do this is through local outreach programs. These programs allow congregations an opportunity to live out their faith, disciple their families, care for their community, and establish a positive reputation of the church in the area.
CarePortal is a free tool to make outreach ministry simple for both the pastor and congregation. This free platform allows you to see small, tangible needs of children in your community. These needs are vetted and inputted by health workers, so you can trust the money is going where it is most needed. Your congregation can contribute funds for specific needs, or contribute items directly.
3) Preaching and Teaching
It is one thing to come together and sing the praise of God, but you also need good teachings to remind them of why this is so important. People will come to your services for guidance and to strengthen their faith in hard times. They need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ from passionate and knowledgeable evangelists, pastors, and teachers - someone that can equip people for the works that God is calling them to.
While other ministries touch specific groups of people, the teaching touches everyone who comes in contact with your church. From the sermon to sunday schools, the whole church must be continually reminded of the gospel and called to deeper relationship with Jesus and the body of Christ.
As you consider how to improve the preaching and teaching in your church, It isn't enough to know the word of God and to project that out as though reading from a teleprompter. A devoted congregation needs someone they can believe in and be invested in. There are workshops and resources available to improve preaching skills, or check out our free sermon outline on generosity.
4) Guest Services
Did you know that most attenders will decide in the first 10 minutes if they will return to your church?
It doesn’t matter how great your preaching, worship, or building is, if guests don’t feel a sense of welcome and community when they walk in, they won’t return. First impressions matter, which means that the first few moments an attender has in your parking lot and lobby are some of the most critical moments.
Don't forget, there is a loneliness epidemic in America, with around 61% of young adults feeling serious loneliness. Many will consider turning to the church and to Christ to fill that void and find a place in a community. Welcome them with open arms from the moment they see the sign outside. Make their first visit easy so they will want to return.
The body of Christ can fill this need. It’s crucial that every visitor who steps through your door feels loved, welcomed, and cared for.
Imagine you are a new person visiting a church for the first time. How easy is it to find parking and walk to the entrance? Are you sure which way to go first? Where can you go if you have questions? And finally, do people smile and seem happy to see you when you enter? These are all important questions to consider when thinking about how first-time visitors experience your church.
Of all the ministries that help a church grow, guest services is the most important. Make sure that guests are a priority, and that your church is a warm and welcoming place.
5) Children's Ministry
It’s easy for churches to overlook children’s ministry in favor of ministries that serve parents and adults. Yet, we need to remember that to honor these children means to offer them guidance and support in the ways of Jesus Christ.
The attitude of Jesus towards children was plain to see. He loved them and wanted them treated the same as anyone else. After all, "Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" (Matt. 19:14).
Therefore, the church must provide a safe place in which children can learn about our faith and pray. You don’t need a fancy building or expensive programs. Invite them in with warm and open arms and they will want to stay within the comfort of the church and learn more.
So, take the time to put in the effort to establish an age-appropriate Sunday School that is as nurturing as it is educational. Teach them well so they may continue down a clear and beautiful path.
Written in partnership with Reach The Lost.