LESSON #1: BE PREPARED SPIRITUALLY AND PRAYERFULLY:
In the rush to get the new ministry organized, this is one of the areas that can most easily be neglected. In many ways, starting a new ministry is much like a wilderness experience. Moses and Jesus were among those who spent time in the wilderness before beginning a ministry.
LESSON #2: DO NOT BE HESITANT TO GET OUTSIDE HELP:
One of the most helpful aspects of making this change was in getting outside help. Having an outside advisor such as a business consultant has proven to be a valuable resource. It also makes sense that a ministry devoted to consulting would use a consultant to help it along.
LESSON#3: USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO "GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE"
When doing the Lord's work, some people might be uncomfortable with the notion that one has to market their ministry. But until the ministry is established, nobody knows what the ministry is about. Some possible ways to share the ministry’s services include blogging, brochures, press releases, web sites, social networking, a display at retreats, workshops, and preaching/speaking at various churches.
LESSON #4: EXPECT TO BATTLE DISCOURAGEMENT AND LONELINESS
Starting a new ministry is difficult in that it means saying good-bye to old friends and going into a ministry that has yet to be defined. This can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness in addition to the discouragement that things are not progressing as rapidly as one likes.
LESSON #5: STARTING UP IS EXPENSIVE:
When undergoing this transition, after years of preparation and prayer, the plan was to live on my wife's salary and allow the ministry to supplement our income. God certainly has been faithful, however there were expenses that were not foreseen. Start up costs to a new ministry such as insurance and supplies are especially difficult since they often precede income. For this reason having some resources prior to starting is crucial.
LESSON #6: BE PATIENT
I often pray, "Lord, give me patience and I want it now!" The truth is that great patience is required to start any kind of new ministry. In the church-consulting field, congregations weren't automatically knocking on my door wanting my services. However, as I have patiently planned the direction for this ministry, God has begun to open doors and slowly the pieces are falling into place.
LESSON #7: GOD IS IN CONTROL
The old hit song says, "Breaking up is hard to do" but I would add, "Starting up is hard to do." However in the midst of these challenges, I have come to appreciate, more and more, the sufficiency of Christ.