This is number 3 in a series of 5 posts that outline a process for creating a strategic plan for ministry in your business.
So far in this series, we have crafted a mission statement that states, from an eternal perspective, why our business exists. We have also counted the various categories of people that will come into contact with our business on some level and identified them as our mission field.
In this post, we will look at how we, in the course of doing business, minister to those in our mission field in a way that impacts them for eternity.
Buck Knives Company
Probably the best example I can come up with is the Buck Knives Company. For decades, they have integrated the Gospel message into the course of business by including a small, printed Gospel testimony (pictured below) in the box with every product. As a result of years of doing this, they have multiple vertical file cabinets filled with letters and notes from customers that were touched by these Christ-centered messages.
So the question you must ask is this:
What is the true product of the Buck Knives Company, the knife or the Gospel message?
Let me ask you this…which one will last longer?
This example from the Buck Knives Company aims to impact customers. What about employees and their families? What about your suppliers & vendors or any other groups we came up with when we identified our mission field? Well, that is what this step is all about. We have some brainstorming to do!
It is time to gather your team. Depending on your preference, you can include a large group of employees or you can start with your key people (that are bought in to the mission and vision). Depending on your size, you might even break into several groups. Either way, the point is to engage the participants in a creative session to determine opportunities and processes to minister to others while doing business.
This is a time for free-flowing ideas, not critique. That can come later.
Taking the three-fold definition of ministry I gave you in the last post (evangelism, discipleship, and service), encourage the participants to come up with ideas for each of the categories. You also may want to list the various mission field categories we identified last post (employees, customers, vendors, etc.) to help generate ideas.
The participants need to feel comfortable offering any idea that comes to mind, without the fear of rejection. This is a time for free-flowing ideas, not critique. That can come later. Any and every idea needs to come out. While one idea may later be scratched from the list for some reason, it may generate another idea that is a winner. Let them flow!
While this is certainly a simple step in the process, don’t overlook it. Even if you start with your key people, I encourage you to later bring everyone into the process. You will likely get some ideas that would never have surfaced otherwise. Plus, you get much better buy-in when everyone is involved.
Now that you have your list of ideas, keep them handy. We will look at what to do with them in the next post. If you are interested, here is a list of 101 ministry ideas from C12 Group that you can use as thought starters. Feel free to implement any of them as well, but don’t use this list as an excuse to skip your brainstorming session!
Have you done this before? What were the results?
If not, are you willing to try it now?
When are you going to schedule it?