This last year has been difficult for everyone. With closures of businesses and places of worship, the coronavirus has hit the U.S. hard. It has driven many to contemplate increased patronage at their church, and many others to avoid gathering of all types altogether. The pandemic has fractured our faithful community, and it feels as if we may never be able to piece it all completely back together. Starting your own nonprofit ministry might be a great way to do just that, however.
Christianity, whether you identify as Roman Catholic, Anglican, or another denomination, is all about the spirit of community, so a nonprofit outreach for those in your community may be just perfect for getting everyone you care for back on their feet. The 20th century saw increased access to technology and connectivity, and this has continued to advance in the 21st, so much so that you can hold sermons and parishioner gatherings virtually, keeping the integrity of the sacrament while also protecting the health and well-being of your church at the same time. Here are a few tips to note as you start your own non-profit ministry.
Make a good first impression.
Dressing in typical robes is an essential component to building your own ministry. Whether you’re leading worship and teaching virtually or in person, you need to look the part to inspire confidence among your followers. Rounding out your collection of clerical shirts, vestments and stoles is essential for this. There is obviously some room for casual dress during this time of crisis, but you shouldn’t make it a habit. The closer to normal your congregation can be made to feel, the better for their spiritual and mental health. Many garments—such as clerical collars, short sleeve shirts for pastors and deacons and other clerical clothing—can be bought online easily. You can even choose collars from a variety of neck sizes and in a number of styles. Make sure you’re outfitted with the correct garments, even if you’re preaching in front of your webcam for now.
Keep your finances in order.
The last thing you want is to be shut down over a breach of business tax compliance. All entities must account for their expenses and deposits, no matter whether they are oriented around making a profit or not. It’s therefore essential to make sure that your ministry remains within the confines of the law. Even if you aren’t taking donations of any sort, keep records of your expenses and income in order to make sense of your financial situation come tax time.
It is obvious that the internet has played a huge role in social organization over the last few years. This is certainly something to tap into when reaching out to your community. You may also want to think about utilizing social media to organize outdoor events for your congregation as well. The internet is a great way to disseminate information, but its also a tool for organizing events and people. Using a community Facebook page to set up weekly or monthly masses or other get-togethers is a great way to show your community your passion for their spiritual journey through life.
Give back to your community.
Finally, its important to make an impact on those around you. Being active in your community is both valuable to the people around you and will benefit your congregation, since generosity has proven to result in positive feelings for those practicing it. Whether you’r collecting soup cans or giving direct cash donations to the needy in your community, these activities will go a long way towards normalizing the lives of those whose mission yours is to help. Reminding them that problems exist in this world that go beyond the daily struggles that we all battle is one easy way to try to recontextualize the difficulties faced all around the world at this critical moment in time.
Prayer and community are powerful agents of healing. Using your spiritual connection to improve the lives of those around you is a noble act, so make sure that you are reaching out with a strategy for improvement and in faith and good nature to your community in order to promote the best possible outcomes within your power, and everything else will fall into place.