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Dr. G. & Friends  |  

Five Entrepreneurial Skills for Ministry

During a conversation about competency-based education for clergy, the group brainstormed a list of necessary competencies clergy need today. One of the competencies identified as necessary for current and emerging clergy was “being entrepreneurial.” Becoming an entrepreneur in ministry is not an easy task, and it requires a lot of skills and qualities to succeed in a changing and stressed vocation. This blog will discuss five essential entrepreneurial skills that every entrepreneur clergy must have.

1. Creativity

Entrepreneurship is all about innovation. Creativity is the key to this skill. Being creative allows ministry entrepreneurs to come up with novel ideas and solutions that can help them stand out or see things differently. Creative entrepreneurs are also more likely to think outside the box and find new ways to solve problems.

2. Resilience

Entrepreneurship is a journey full of ups and downs, and it requires resilience to overcome failures and setbacks. Resilient entrepreneurs are not afraid to take calculated risks and see failures as opportunities to learn and grow. They are persistent in their pursuit of a goal or vision and never give up, even when faced with adversity.

3. Adaptability

Entrepreneurship in ministry occurs in a constantly evolving landscape, and entrepreneur clergy need to be adaptable to keep up with the changes. Adaptable entrepreneurs are flexible and can quickly adjust to new situations and challenges. They are open to new ideas and are willing to pivot their ministry practices, plans, and strategies when necessary.

4. Financial management

Ministry entrepreneurs need to understand financial management well to ensure their ministry’s financial health and viability. They need to be able to manage cash flow, create budgets, and make financial projections. They need to be aware of the opportunities and threats from their broader context: the neighborhood, community, region, market, and socio-economic factors that will impact the ministry. Understanding financial management also helps entrepreneurs make informed decisions about investments and growth opportunities to ensure ministry sustainability.

5. Communication

Effective communication is crucial for ministry entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need to communicate their vision, goals, and ideas to their team and stakeholders. They also need to negotiate deals and partnerships and build strong relationships with grantors, influencers, members, clients, prospects, and suppliers.

Being a ministry entrepreneur requires a unique set of skills and qualities, those that were not taught in formal theological classroom courses. Creativity, resilience, adaptability, financial management, and communication are just some of the essential skills that every ministry entrepreneur must have.

By developing these skills, ministry entrepreneurs can more effectively lead their churches and non-profits in the rapidly changing contexts and increasingly varied forms of ministry.

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Dr. G. & Friends