Why Start a New Ministry?
It was late, and it had been an exhausting, emotion-filled day. The Apostle John simply said, “Jesus appeared to them.” Jesus appeared to the disciples as they cowered in a locked room and gave them two powerful gifts. First, He gave them peace as he spoke the words, “Peace be with you.” Second, He gave them a mission: “As the Father sent me, I am sending you.” Our Easter focus may lead us to miss something important in John 20:17: Easter begets mission. Think about it–Mary clung to Jesus near the tomb and He told her, “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” The two disciples traveling to Emmaus realized that they had been talking with the resurrected Jesus and immediately got up to run and tell the disciples. It’s evening on that first Easter and Jesus ends the day by passing His mission on to the disciples.
Jesus has given it to us as well. We too have been sent out into the world just as Jesus was sent into the world by His Heavenly Father. StartNew is an initiative of the Michigan District, LCMS to empower individuals and ministries to reach new people with the joyous Easter message.
What is StartNew and StartNew Explorer?
StartNew and StartNew Explorer are resources to enable ministries to launch new ministries which support our common goal of creating opportunities for sharing the Gospel. All new ministry projects in either of the StartNew initiatives seek to create an environment where lives can be transformed by the Gospel. However, the initiative is specifically designed to help ministries launch new great commission ministries and new great compassion ministries. Great commission ministries are those ministries which have an immediate goal of starting a new worshiping community. Great compassion ministries are those ministries which reach people with the Gospel while striving to serve their physical and emotional needs. StartNew Explorer is an initiative designed to help congregations launch smaller mission and ministry programs which are focused on growing the kingdom of God. While StartNew and StartNew Explorer have different goals, they share similar processes. There are four processes in both initiatives:
1. Assessment: The assessment component helps those who wish to develop a new mission venture to assess the plan and the launch team composition. The primary goal of assessment is to ensure the best launch plan and the best launch team for a new mission venture.
2. Training: The training component equips the launch team with the critical tools to develop and implement a success mission venture. The training includes learning experiences in context analysis, fundraising, strategic planning, and marketing. The training will be delivered is several formats including online learning and local seminars.
3. StartNew Funding: StartNew Funding is available for qualifying mission projects and includes grants and zero-interest loans. StartNew grants are designed for smaller projects or new ministry starts. StartNew zero-interest loans are for larger projects which are not new ministry starts.
4. Coaching: Coaching will provide the ongoing encouragement and accountability to ensure the team will succeed and adapt to achieve the desired goal. The monthly coaching sessions will be conducted by seasoned entrepreneurs.
Who can participate?
The StartNew leader may be a pastor, other professional church worker, or a lay member of the congregation. The StartNew leader is the person with the vision and the passion for a new mission start.
What are the requirements of the program?
To qualify for the StartNew or StartNew Explorer initiative, you need to be a member of a congregation or ministry in the Michigan District of the LCMS. You need to be willing to:
- Gather a launch team;
- Complete a mission launch plan;
- Participate in the training modules recommended by your CMMF or your StartNew coach;
- Be fully engaged in the coaching process for the first two years of your mission launch.
Which initiative is right for you?
The StartNew Explorer initiative was designed to assist congregations in the establishment of evangelism or compassion programs requiring less than $5,000 in seed funding. Some examples include: developing a mission focused community garden; starting a video discussion study in the community; launching a backyard VBS program; or forming a support group program. The seed funding is interest-free, with adjustable repayment schedules.
The StartNew initiative was designed for launching a new ministry that includes a plan to become self-funding. The seed funding may be as much as $250,000. The new ministries include new church plants, the addition of a second worship site, or the development of a non-profit compassion ministry. The seed funding may be awarded as a grant or as an interest-free loan.
The Michigan District collaborates with FiveTwo and their StartNew training process that equips you to build, fund, and launch ventures that help people in need in your community. No matter what you want to start—a Bible study, mercy ministry, business, or non-profit organization—StartNew will help you to start on the right track so that what you start expresses the presence of Jesus in your community.
How do we start?
To get started, contact your Congregational Mission and Ministry Facilitator (CMMF). He will be able to discuss the initiative in greater detail and help you evaluate if your project is a good fit for the StartNew initiative. He will be able to connect you to the StartNew facilitator should he find your project to be a good match for the StartNew initiative.
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