10 Steps to Set Your Ministry Up for Success in 2023

Wow!  I can't believe how fast 2022 went by.  In just a few days, we will enter 2023.  

As you turn your focus to 2023, it is important to spend time thinking about how your ministry can be even better.  Rather than rumbling into 2023, let's first hit pause and think about some steps you can take.

Remember the classic statement - If you continue to do what you've been doing, you will get the same result.

Let's look at some key steps you can take, as you seek to improve your ministry in this coming year. 

Pray more.  Let's be honest.  It's easy to get so busy doing ministry that you stop spending time with Jesus. Working for Jesus crowds out spending time with Jesus.

Yes, you can do ministry in your own limited power.  But it will be empty and bear no fruit.  You must spend time with Jesus in 2023, if you want to see God do great things through your ministry.

Do this.  Get out your calendar.  Make an appointment each day to spend time with Jesus.  It might be in the morning.  It might be during your lunch break.  It might be at home in the evening.  Whatever time it happens, make sure you spend time talking with Jesus and listening to Him as He speaks to you through His word, the Bible.

Nothing of eternal value will happen in your ministry without prayer.

Do less.  It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking the more you do, the more you will accomplish.  Leaders with this mindset are constantly starting new ministries, adding events to the calendar and stretching volunteers thin as they ask them to serve in multiple ways.

Less is more. Find out what you do well and stick with that.  Resist filling your ministry calendar with a multitude of programs, events and activities.  Pour your volunteers into a few programs and events that have the potential to bear much fruit.  This will give you the ability to do those few things with excellence. 

Remember...you can do a few things well or you can a lot of things mediocre.  Sometimes the best thing you can put on your ministry calendar is eraser marks.

Examine everything you are doing.

What is outdated?  

What needs to be canceled?

What is poorly attended?  

What is just going through the motions?  

What is struggling? 

What has outlived its effectiveness?

Eraser marks is one of the best things you can put on your ministry calendar.
Do things with excellence.  How do you accomplish this?  The secret behind excellence is doing the small things well.  

Excellence is the whisper that comes from the small things done well. 

Excellence will set your ministry apart and will catch the attention of parents.  Over time, you will become known as a ministry that does things with excellence and that is what families are drawn toward.  Notice, I didn't say perfection.  No one can obtain that.  But what it does mean is this - take what you do have and do your very best with it.  

Make your #1 goal to be reaching kids and families with the Gospel. There is nothing more important than this. It's our last commandment from our Savior and it's why He has left us here on the earth.  Be passionate this coming year about reaching people with the Gospel.  Everything we do should point people to Jesus.  

We live in a world with billions of children. Children that Jesus loves. Children that Jesus was willing to die for.  Children that will grow up with no hope unless we point them to Jesus.  God has chosen to bring the Gospel to people through you and I.  

If you want to see your children's ministry grow and flourish, then you must be committed to proclaiming the Gospel to families inside and outside of your local church.

Jesus has promised us that if He is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself.   

Any growth you have in 2023 will come from sharing the Gospel with kids and families.

Build your volunteer team.  The success of your ministry in 2023 will rise and fall on the strength of the volunteer team you build. 

It won't be about what you can do in 2023.  It will be about the volunteers you empower to do the work of the ministry.

If you are a good leader in 2023, you will be powerful.  If you are a great leader in 2023, you will empower volunteers.

If you are a good leader in 2023, you will be a star.  If you are a great leader in 2023, you will raise up stars.

If you are a good leader in 2023, you will do the work of the ministry by yourself.  If you are a great leader in 2023, you will equip others to do the work of the ministry.

Invest heavily in a small group of volunteers.  Jesus had 12 disciples, but he also had a trio of disciples (an inner circle) that He poured Himself into the most - Peter, James and John.

Remember this...

Love everyone equally, but be selective in the people you choose to pour yourself into at a higher level. 

Do you have those 3 people yet?  Now is the time to select 3 people you are going to invest in during 2023.

Coordinate with other ministries when setting your calendar for 2023.  Don't be a silo.  You want to make sure your key events, programs, etc. don't conflict with other ministries' plans.  Here's an example, work together as a team so you are not having your family VBS night on the same weekend of a women's ministry conference.  Don't put families in a situation where they have to choose between events or programs. 

Create a culture where partnering with parents is a top priority.  

Always be thinking about how you can involve parents.  

Always be thinking about how you can empower parents.  

Always be thinking about how you can equip parents to raise their kids to love Jesus.  

Map out key times when you can involve parents.  This includes your week-by-week programming as well as key events like family milestones.

Don't be content with where you were in 2022.  Don't be lulled into a state of mediocrity.  Determine (with God's help) that you're going to make 2023 your best ministry year ever.  Don't be content.  Don't slip into complacency.  

Remember what John said to the church in Revelation 2:4?

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

Has your passion, enthusiasm, zeal, vision and urgency waned?  Do you find yourself just going through the motions?  

Stir yourself up.  Renew the passion and love you had for Jesus when you first started serving.  

God still has much for you to do.  Your labor will not be in vain.  Your best days of ministry are just around the corner.  This is not the time to quit.  This is not the time to take your foot off the gas.  

2023 is here.  Go for it!  God is with you.  I am praying and believing with you that great things are coming to your ministry this coming year!