Once your church has unearthed its gifts during the interim season and planned new ministry initiatives, the work is not done. It is important to pre-set times for reflecting on these initiatives. (Note that if debrief sessions aren't calendared in advance, they are much less likely to happen.) The questions below offer prompts for ongoing discernment about the faithful use of gifts and celebration of God's work in, around, and through the people involved with the ministry.
Ministry reflection form
Brief description of ministry:
What were the main tasks in the planning and implementation of this ministry?
What relationships were started or strengthened?
How did we make faithful use of the following?
What did we learn about the following?
Ourselves (as a congregation)
Our larger community
Where was God at work in, around, and/or through us through the planning and implementation of this ministry?
In light of our responses to the above, what is God inviting us to consider going forward?
Using the reflection prompts above will not only allow your church to tweak ministries to make them more effective but will remind planners that even if an event doesn't turn out as planned, the careful debrief of it means that no effort is lost in God's economy. This realization is especially uplifting during a pastoral transition, and it begins to set a pattern of discern-reflect-discern that can spill over into even the congregation’s longtime ministries - and into the lives of individual church members. So give thanks for opportunities to love, learn, and grow, and pray for God’s continued guidance.