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From planning ministry days over the years we have learned some best practices that we’d like to share with you. The most important thing as you plan is communication with the Lord. It is easy to fall into patterns or rely on ourselves and miss something new that God wants to do. As you are talking to people on the phone, as you are putting the ministry teams together, and as you are choosing which ministry team should pray with which prayer recipient be aware of what the Lord is showing you.
Choose a Day
First, choose a day (or days) to host ministry. Choosing dates ahead of time works better than scheduling sessions individually. For one, this builds an atmosphere, like an Unbound Conference does, for both those coming for ministry and the ministry team. Second, this creates fellowship for your ministry team. We ask our team to arrive 15 minutes before we are scheduled to begin so the teams can connect and get settled before prayer recipients arrive. Third, this allows the Team Administrator to connect with people coming for ministry. And finally, it is just easier to have ministry days. Organizing a number of ministry sessions on one set day is easier than holding a number of ministry sessions on many different days.
Set Up Ministry Teams
Begin by identifying the Ministry Leaders who will be leading each ministry team on the ministry day. Knowing how many leaders you will have means you know how many teams you can have. Then you can schedule the intercessors and people coming for ministry accordingly.
The ideal team is one leader and two intercessors because it isn’t an overwhelming number of people in a room, and if one intercessor cancels there can still be one person interceding.
Try to have most teams consist of at least one man and one woman so that all teams can minister to both men and women.
Pre-Ministry Day Communication
1. Obtain cell phone numbers for team members and for those coming for ministry.
2. Make sure everyone coming has the phone number of the Team Administrator or designated host for the Ministry Day.
3. Send an email to your ministry team with specific instructions. These instructions can include when to arrive, how many sessions they will be participating in, etc.
4. Finally, send more than one email to those coming for ministry: the first, immediately after they schedule and the second, just before their scheduled ministry date.
The Day of Ministry
You want to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and conducive to ministry. If the Team Administrator is not hosting, choose another host as the point person for the day. The role of the host is to:
- Welcome people as they come for ministry, helping them feel comfortable and loved.
- Be a point of contact for any questions that arise.
- Call if someone doesn’t show up and be called if someone needs directions.
- Take the burden off of teams so that they can focus on ministering to those coming.
- Have water, coffee and some simple food like granola bars or muffins available.
- Make sure the rooms are quiet and private.
- Have pads of paper, pens, tissues, Learning to Listen sheets, and anything else that would be helpful available to your team members.
- Finally, have resources available to give away or sell to those who would like them.
Due to the number of people we pray with, we are unable to make follow up calls, but if you are just starting your Unbound ministry this might be a great way to connect; it allows you to connect with a person who has received ministry, find out how he or she is, and receive feedback. Another option is to send a follow-up email, asking how their ministry time went and inviting them to share a testimony.
We recently moved to emailing a short survey to people after their Unbound sessions. Because they view this as simple and quick, we have received a great response. Google Forms is a basic, free option for creating and sending a survey, and we ask five simple questions, including, “Did you leave your ministry session with a new level of freedom?” and “Is there anything about your ministry experience you would change?”
Getting feedback is so important because it helps to remind your team that you are in fact helping people, it shows where they might need to improve, and it offers encouragement to your team, reminding them that you are all making a difference in people’s lives.