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4 Questions for Ministry Planning

By February 23, 2023February 28th, 2023Leadership, Resources

Each event you host or project you organize comes with its own set of decisions to be made and details to be managed. It starts high level and works its way toward greater specificity. What begins with ideation moves to activation and then implementation. Each event or project has its own cycle. 

As you develop a rhythm for what your ministry does, there becomes a greater need to pause and reflect on the big-picture operations of the ministry you are leading. It’s a time to evaluate and ask key questions. 

These questions aren’t necessarily ones you ask all the time or amid one particular event or project. It’s best to ask them annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. Find an interval that works for you. For example, you might find it helpful to ask these big-picture questions at the new year or at the fiscal year. Maybe you invite your team in and ask them at a quarterly team meeting or twice a year. 

It’s important to note that not every question has to have an answer. For example, perhaps there is nothing to “add” during this next season. That’s okay. This is meant to be reflective. 

What questions should you be asking? Here’s the list: 


The focus here should be on what you’ve done or participated in over the last season that you’d like to continue doing but requires some maintenance to keep up with.

I suggest listing the project or service and what it might take to maintain that level of service for this next season. 


Here, we’re looking for things you did or participated in that you’d like to keep as part of the ministry, but some particular challenges or frustrations existed. Start with the frustration and move to how it could be improved. You can check out this article here to help identify where your challenge or frustration may be coming from.

For example, you may help the agency with first-response needs. You know that you want to keep providing that service to the agency, but you also recognize that how you are being notified of the needs isn’t working for you. This service or project can be kept but could be improved by adding a web form or another process.


With this question, we’re looking for things that might need a complete overhaul. 

Perhaps this is something you’ve done or participated in for a long time that’s not as helpful to the agency or church anymore. On the other hand, this could also be an area of ministry that you’ve been trying to make work but has consistently not gotten the results you were hoping for. 


Here we’re trying to identify if there are things we should add to our ministry that we currently aren’t offering to the agency, the church, or our teams. Again, keep in mind that the goal is to add strategically. We’re not just adding because someone asked us to. 

Before making any additions to your ministry, you should ask yourself:

  • Does this help the church engage?
  • Does this support the work of the agency?
  • Is my team on board, or do I have key people who would help organize this with me?
  • Does someone in the community already offer this event or service?

Here’s an example: 

The agency reached out about desiring to find a way to connect foster parents. Your church has a hospitality ministry and a café that could be available on some weeknights. Your team is excited about figuring out the details of a monthly meet-up with the church and agency. You check in about what other ministries in your area are doing, and you find there aren’t any organized options for foster parents to meet one another. 

If the project checks all the boxes, then consider it. How does it fit in with what you are already doing? We want to say yes as much as we can, but we also want to lead sustainable ministries. More doesn’t always mean better. More can be great when it is supported by the resources available. 

There will likely be some ongoing projects you consistently engage in and some that have seasons. Be open to refining and adjusting as you lead. Bring people in to plan with you. Hear their thoughts on the ministry as well.