A grab bag of ministry ideas

There is a lot of new thinking about how to do ministry and how to think about it. I’ve been mucking around in comparatively older resources – GBOD guidelines book written in 2000. It is organized using the NOW model of ministry.

I plan on using it to foster conversation at the church I serve. Here’s a rather long list of ministry ideas.


Nurture Ministries: Giving attention to educational, worship, and stewardship components of ministry.


Educational Nurture

1. Short-term Christian education study

2. Disciple Bible Study

3. Spiritual Gifts discovery classes

4. Annual church board retreats

5. Ongoing or short-term Bible study or Covenant Discipleship groups

6. Vacation Bible school

7. Lenten or Advent studies

8. Developing seasonal devotions to use in the home

9. Confirmation and membership classes

10. Training for VBS and Sunday School teachers

11. Developing a booklet designed to inform church members about the congregation’s history, program, structure

12. After school programs for children and youth

13. Choir rehearsals that include study of the Bible and church hymns

14. Rites of passage experiences for youth


Fellowship Nurture

1. Offering hospitality training for worship greeters and key leaders

2. United Methodist Men

3. United Methodist Women

4. United Methodist Youth

5. Midweek evening program for children and families

6. After school programs for children

7. Church camp scholarships

8. Intergenerational activities

9. Children’s day camp or summer camp


Physical and Emotional Support

1. Being supportive of one another

2. Providing wheelchairs and other equipment so that people who need them can have access to ministries

3. Good financial stewardship

4. Leadership training and prayer support

5. Sending cards and devotional materials to the homebound

6. Pastoral ministries that involve the laity in listening and caring for others

7. Provide meals for individuals and families going through tough times



1. Monthly lectionary study for those who want to help plan and lead worship

2. Special music

3. Drama and short skits

4. Special Sundays (Mother’s Day, denominational celebrations, and others)

5. Involvement of various people in worship services

6. Special worship services (Thanksgiving, Good Friday, Easter Sunrise)

7. Ecumenical worship celebrations

8. Fifth Sunday Charge Worship and Fellowship Dinner

9. Spiritual Life Retreats


Outreach Ministries: Giving attention to the local and larger community ministries of compassion, justice, and advocacy.


Ministries of Compassion

1. Giving child care scholarships to young mothers in the community

2. Providing free funeral dinners to nonmembers

3. Collecting funds for emergency situations where people are displaced

4. Delivering Meals on Wheels

5. Providing emergency financial aid: utilities, food, clothing, shelter, medicine

6. Doing errands for older persons and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments

7. Serving as hospice volunteers

8. Serving as EMTs or fire department volunteers

9. Organizing a clothing thrift shop or emergency food shelter

10. Making quilts for families

11. Cooking and serving Thanksgiving dinner for people who are homeless or homebound

12. Gleaning fruits and vegetables for low-income households

13. Holding rockathons, walkathons, fun runs, and so forth to raise money for world ministries and missions

14. Receiving special offerings in response to natural disasters

15. Making contributions to General Advance Special missions

16. Sponsoring mission fairs that use games, bake sales, and so forth to raise funds

17. Sponsoring a Job Fair and inviting community employers


Ministries of Concern and Advocacy

1. Donating seeds, fertilizers, and canning equipment to low-income households for canning and freezing

2. Financially supporting and raising breeder stock for the Heifer Project

3. Sponsoring work camps designed to improve substandard housing, construct church camp buildings, etc.

4. Befriending local drug addicts

5. Providing funds and labor for Habitat for Humanity

6. Hosting work trips to mission sites

7. Financially supporting and volunteering to help with local domestic violence assistance programs

8. Paying the cost for a reading teacher in the local elementary school or volunteering as tutors

9. Volunteering at senior centers

10. Developing a response team to the Bishop’s Initiative on Children and Poverty

11. Gathering perishables for holiday food baskets

12. Supporting or hosting a refugee or immigrant family in your area


Regional, National, and Global Outreach

1. Going on a Volunteers in Mission trip

2. Being a part of a disaster response team

3. Collecting special offerings

4. Recycling and contributing the proceeds to an outreach project

5. Sponsoring a refugee family

6. Organizing voter registration

7. Holding political office

8. Being involved in issues that affect your county, state, or region


Witness Ministries: Giving attention to developing and strengthening evangelistic efforts of sharing personal and congregational stories of Christian experience, faith, and service.


Speaking/Word Witness Ministries

1. Church members telling their friends, relatives, coworkers, fellow students, and others about the meaning of Christian faith

2. A door-to-door community canvass

3. Distribution of a brochure explaining church services and programs

4. Providing worship services at nursing homes

5. Sponsoring a lay speaking course in your church

6. Visiting people who visit church

7. Offering a concert with contemporary Christian music open to the community

8. Outdoor tent revival services

9. A preschool program with Christian emphasis

10. A newsletter mailed to all persons in the community

11. Presenting a Last Supper, Nativity, or Easter drama, open to the entire community

12. Community youth groups that seek youth from the entire community

13. Organize a revival or church renewal day

14. Christian recreation program for children during the summer

15. Settings for recovering addicts who want to live the Christian life

16. Family, youth, or children rallies

17. Add a section to your prayer list, “People who do not know Christ,” and pray for them

18. Train people to give a testimony of what God is doing in their life


Doing/Action Witness Ministries

1. Make the church sanctuary available to the community for funerals, memorial services, and weddings

2. Share in ecumenical worship services

3. Public service that builds up the community and addresses human needs

4. Church building construction such as a Christian life center or renovation that shows the church is alive and active

5. Peaceful protests and demonstrations in the community to bring about awareness of social ills and press for actions to resolve those problems

6. Church-sponsored scholarship programs for graduating seniors

7. Recycling

8. Mobilization of community resistance to hard liquor sales, drug sales and usage, gambling, and other activities

9. Live Christian lifestyles

10. Church-sponsored county fair booths offering free, cold water and a place to sit in the shade

11. Build or refurbish a playground for children

12. Go to place in community where tragedy has happened and provide a service of worship in that place

13. Encourage church members to host a backyard VBS in their homes for children around them who are not part of the church