How to Start A Ministry in 5 Very Difficult Steps

(S)He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it’s fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever (S)he does prospers!

Psalms 1:3

A few years ago our family was on vacation in the mountains when we decided to spend one of our days white water rafting. We made a call to get the prices for the trip, calculated the cost and decided to go for it. When we arrived at the rafting outpost, the guy behind the register began to alter my preconceived ideas about just how much this trip was going to set us back. He began to “highly recommend” the upgraded lifejackets, the pre-bottled waters; the extra long trip that would float us by a beautiful waterfall and the extra sized boats that would allow us to all be together. That rafting trip hit my wallet much harder than I originally planned but that was not the worst of the day.

In spite of listening intently to the instructions on how to “stay in the boat” no matter how rough the water got, you guessed it, 5 minutes down the river we hit a series of rapids that yanked my firmly planted feet right out from under me and sent me flying backwards headfirst into the rapids.




I floundered for air as I watched the “boat that was big enough for the whole family” swiftly float away.

A very brave tour guide in the boat behind us jumped in to rescue me and haul me by the neck down the river until we caught up with the family. If you can believe it, the day got worse as we went.

From that water terror moment on, I was FREEZING and terrified.

Our 5 hour trip dragged on for 8 hours.

As the day loomed on for an eternity, I began to prepare myself for a waterfall that would be little more than a dirty drip from a high rock.I was very wrong. I still shiver when I remember having that raft turn a corner that in a matter of moments took us from dreadful to dazzling. Just as promised, we came upon a smooth pool of water the was being abundantly supplied by the most colorful cascade of water I had ever seen or imagined.

We sat in silence wonder as we all took in it’s glory and rested in the hard work of the day. It had been SO worth every bump and bruise.

As promised, I have pulled together a mini-course book on “5 Critical Steps to Staring a Ministry From Scratch” taken from my workshop by the same name at the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference.

Plans are in the works now for a webcast in the coming weeks that will allow you to ask more specific questions as they relate to your own ministry. In the meantime, I pray this helps you.

I have prayerfully broken down what I have discovered to be the 5 most important challenges and the celebrations of taking a ministry from a tiny seed of faith to a bursting bloom, all the while reminded of those 4 things I learned on that rafting trip.

1) Ministry is harder than you think its’ going to be.

2) Takes longer than you think it should.

3)Cost more than you think it will.


4)God will do greater things than you can ever ask of imagine!

Those of you who requested the E-Book should have received your copy in your inbox today.



If you didn’t request it but would like it, please sign up in the Newsletter link to the right of this post and I will send it your way.


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  1. Pat,
    Check my inbox and I didn’t see it. I’m sure I signed up for your Newsletter, if not let me know. Thanks for sharing your wisdom in this area.


  2. Hi, Pat, I’d love the booklet 5 Critical Steps to Starting a Ministry from Scratch. That’s what we’re doing with Ami’s Hope, a homeless maternity program. We’re following the State of Michigan rules, and just received or Articles of Incorporation! Our first board meeting will be April 1. I know your booklet will give us a godly perspective and I look forward to consuming it and sharing it with the other founders of this ministry!

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