Starting an itinerant ministry can be very challenging. An itinerant minister is one who travels to different churches to minister for one or more services. Examples of itinerant ministries are evangelists or gospel singing groups. A successful itinerant ministry requires discipline and motivation, and is very similar to starting a business. You must convince churches and their pastors that your ministry will benefit their organization. Here are a few tips to help you start an itinerant ministry.
Join a fellowship. Joining a ministerial fellowship gives you the opportunity to meet pastors and ministers from other organizations. Some itinerant ministers hold credentials with a number of different fellowships. The goal is to make as many contacts as possible.
Attend conferences. Most fellowships have at least one conference each year. Attend as many as you possibly can. Exposure is crucial. Starting an itinerant ministry is not for people who are shy.
Create business cards, brochures and stationary. Your business cards and brochures should display your contact information along with a little bit about you and your ministry. Have them professionally printed if possible. When attending a conference or meeting, give them to as many people as you can.
Create a theme. To start an effective itinerant ministry, you must have a specific ministry theme. For example, your ministry might focus on building better marriages. Pastors will only invite you to their church if your ministry can benefit their congregation.
Create a mailing list. Obtain contact information for every pastor you meet and add it to your mailing list. Stay in contact with them on a regular basis, but not so frequently that it becomes annoying.
Start a monthly newsletter. With a newsletter you can keep your contacts informed about your ministry. Keep it brief because most pastors don't have time to read lengthy newsletters.
Request a speaking engagement. Send a letter to all of your contacts which is brief and to the point. Let them know how your visit will benefit their church or organization. Tell them you will be calling to schedule a date for your visit, then follow up with a phone call on that date.
Be persistent. Don't expect people to invite you into their church right away. Starting an itinerant ministry takes time. You'll have to be persistent in order to get a positive response.
- Kim Linton