7 Things To Do When Building an ISM Team

When building a new international ministry group, you want to be sure to take all the steps necessary to have effective outreach. This article provides you with a general checklist, as well as links to articles for each that may help you get started.


1)    Finding and Casting the Vision

Author Simon Sinek once gave a TED Talk about effective leaders. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” he says. This holds true not only for companies seeking profit but also for us as we seek to have volunteers and donors get on board with our ministry. So why do you do it? Make sure you can put into clear, concise words why you believe international ministry to be important.

2)    Building a Team

How do you build a team? What kinds of people should you look to to help you? What should the demographics look like? These are all questions to consider as you look for people to work with you. Remember, no one person can do everything. While you won't need items such as affiliation right away, it is good to be aware of the technical side of your ministry building.

3)    Developing Partners

Once you have a core team of people to help you with the regular ins and outs of the ministry, you need to look for people to support you with regular volunteer service, donations, and prayer. The more partners you have, the more students you can reach.

4)    Learning about the University

You have a team! But before you start making plans for your first event and cooking all that food, you need to know who the students are that you will meet and where they will meet you. You need to know about the university. Understanding the make-up of the school will help you know what to expect when you start seeking students.

5)    Understanding Cross Cultural Work

Make sure your team has a solid foundation for working across cultures. What does it mean to lose face? How should you interact with a low power culture as opposed to a high power culture? Be sure you have a basic understanding of the differences between cultures and how unconscious decisions by your team may cause others to feel welcome or not.

6)    Planning Outreach

What events will you have? How will you get the word out? Where will you meet? What will your meeting look like? Is it informal or formal? Who will help? Start working on the specifics for your team.

7)    Meeting Students

What you’ve worked for – inviting the students to fellowship with you! But what do you say? How should you interact? (Hopefully you have a good start after learning how to cross cultures!) Think about potential encounters you will have.

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