This is number two in a series of posts on effective Strategic Ministry Planning for your business. In my last post, I described the value and characteristics of an effective mission statement for your company. Today, I will address the potential mission field for your company. In business language, this is your target market or target audience.
In order to effectively determine where we are going to do ministry, I think it best we first define exactly what we mean by ministry. In this context, we are going to define ministry in three parts.
First is ministry in evangelism – leading those people without a saving faith in Jesus Christ to come to know Him. Not all people are wired for this type of ministry, but there are also people who are wired specifically for this type of ministry. These people cannot wait to share the love of Christ with someone else – friend or stranger.
Next is ministry in discipleship – helping those with faith in Jesus to grow in that faith. As Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12, some are just gifted to teach. Some may enjoy doing so in a group while others may prefer a one-on-one discipling relationship. Either way, this is a critical part of ministry.
Finally is ministry in service – this consists of acts of love and kindness done in the name of Jesus. Just like some people are wired for evangelism and some are wired for teaching, this ministry requires those who embrace serving others.
When you think about it, the best ministry for Christ (regardless of which category) is done in relational contacts. God created us as relational beings. Look at Genesis 2:18 where He says it is not good for Adam to be alone. We need each other, therefore our ministry needs to be relational in the same way.
As a result of this line of thinking, we can see that every relational contact in the course of doing business is an opportunity to do ministry. Let’s take a look at a method of determining these mission field opportunities.
Courtesy of the C12 Group, we can use this Marketplace Mission Field worksheet (click to open in separate window and print out) to identify just how many opportunities your company has for ministry in a year.
- Employees- How many part-time and full-time employees do you have in your company? Do not count them in the same way you might for a financial report (0.5 for part-time or using Full Time Equivalents). If it is a person that gets compensated for their work, count them as one!
- Family Members- How many family members do your employees have in their households? Count them all! If you don’t know, just figure 1.5 family members per employee as an estimate.
- Applicants- How many applicants do you have in a given year? Consider all jobs and all applicants – whether online, by phone, or in person. If they inquire about a job with your company, count them.
- Current Customers- How many current customers does your company have? How many will you have this year?
- Past Customers- How many customers have you had in the past? In your database?
- Future Customers/Prospects- How many customers or prospects will look at your business this year? Even if you will not sell them, count them if they will have any contact with your company or any advertising from your company this year. Think about your website, trade shows, direct mail, flyers, etc. If they will get some impression of your business, they fall into this category.
- Current- With how many suppliers and/or vendors are you currently doing business? Count the number of their individual employees that come into contact with your company, not the number of companies.
- Future (potential)- How many people come into your business in the period of a year to solicit your business (whether you do business with them or not)?
- Competitors- How many individual contacts do you or your employees have with your competition? Some of these could actually fall under the vendor category as well. Don’t double count!
- Trade Associates- This category could include trainers, coaches, consultants, outside marketing reps, factory or franchise reps, etc. Count them all!
- Others- You may have thought of some not mentioned here. Add them in as well, but make sure to let me know what I missed. I want to add them to the template!
Now, all that is left is for you to total all of the above categories. Because of our website and the reach we have through nationwide vehicle searches, our number came to several million possible impressions! That is an unusually high number, but I bet your number is much higher than you were thinking before this exercise.
Folks, this is a real number representing the mission field opportunities you and your company will have in the next 12 months to impact people for eternity. Certainly, some of these will be greater opportunities than others. But regardless of the level of contact with your company, these are real people that could, in some way, see a different eternity simply because you decided to let God guide your business. How big is that?
Next time, we will begin to think about HOW we can impact this mission field.
What were you thinking before this exercise?
What was your company’s number?
Does that light a fire in your heart?