5 Steps to Starting Your Online Ministry

nicole williamsProphetess Nicole Williams is a Spiritual Advisor and Clarity Coach, teaching prophetic Christian women how to build their online ministries. Having served 100+ clients in getting clarity on their God-given purpose, she is the creator of “The Clarity Blueprint for Prophetic Christian Women: Clarify the Online Ministry and Coaching Business God Has for You that Aligns with Your God-ordained Purpose and Confidently Build with His Direction Every Step of the Way.” You can connect with her and find more of her content on Instagram (@unapologeticnicole), Youtube (Unapologetic Nicole), or her website (unapologeticnicole.com). 

With social media, it’s now possible to reach people across the globe with the message of the gospel. Even though they may never step inside of the church, we can meet them in the most intimate spaces of their homes via their social media to spread the Word.

Whether you are a college student, established minister, or stay-at-home mom, anyone with a burden or calling from God can start. Sharing Jesus is the responsibility of every believer, and I believe we are all called to some form of online ministry. Every believer knows that sharing the gospel is important, for this is the command that Jesus left us with.

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Go and make disciples.

~ Matthew 28:19-20

With most of the world now on social media, it’s that much more important for us as Christians to preach the gospel on the internet. The process can feel daunting, and the challenge of determining where to start is often the hardest part. After successfully building my own online ministry, I’ve identified five crucial steps every Christian should take before they set out to start. By following the step-by-step process I’ve outlined here, you will gain the confidence in starting – and leading – your online ministry.

Step 1: Know Your Why/Who

The first step to online ministry has nothing to do with social media tips and everything to do with the deeper question of why you want to start.

The most dangerous thing we can do in anything as Christian is to be motivated by selfish ambition, not by the Holy Spirit. If you believe you are called to online ministry, take time in prayer to identify why

You must first know why the ministry is important and what is the purpose of the ministry . It’s important to know what your purpose is and who you are called to serve in order to answer these questions effectively. If you aren’t clear with the Lord about why He put you on this earth, that must first be addressed and solidified.

Step 2: Ministry Vision

Once you have clarified who you are, why God has called you, and who you are called to serve, you can now move forward in pursuing a vision for ministry.

Your “why” is not the same thing as your vision. Your “why” motivates your vision.

Reflecting on the revelations of the first step, now take time to pray and ask God for a vision. For example, is your vision to see 1000 women find their confidence in God? Maybe your vision is to see Christian women empowered in their weight loss through biblical teaching. Or maybe your vision is to share the gospel in a way atheists will understand using the teaching gift God gave you? Whatever the vision is, write it down and make it plain!

I’m sure you’ve heard some variation of that advice before, but I want you to know that writing it down is not simply taking out a piece of paper and writing it down. Instead, you focus on the topic thoroughly, addressing specific questions that will help you see the bigger picture. Once you’ve outlined a larger vision, then take time to break it down into a 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year ministry plan.

The goal of writing out the vision is not to stay stuck to everything you wrote down. It is for the purpose of prayer. You must pray over that vision daily so that God can continue to unfold an even greater vision. You must steward over your ministry vision in this way because as you are faithful over what He has given you, God will give you more. God is strategic so take time to honor His process on this journey.

Step 3: How to Create an Online Ministry Funnel

Now that you have solidified your vision, you can now move on to thinking about how you want to invite people into your ministry, also known as the funnel of your ministry online or your ministry marketing funnel. The ministry funnel strategically takes new people (leads) that you encounter on social media and strategically brings them into your discipleship community or program.

An example of this would be using Reels to reach new people, then inviting them onto an Instagram Live, then at the end of the Instagram Live inviting them into your monthly bible study. The funnel should vary in structure based on your goals, objectives, time, capacity, and ability.

Step 4: Be an Expert on the Platform God’s Calling You To

The call of God to ministry is not an easy one to say yes to, but it is one we must prepare for. In addition to the spiritual and academic preparation God may lead you through, you want to be sure to know how you are using certain social media apps and platforms.

One of the greatest mistakes of online ministers is not taking the time to learn how to strategically use social media for their ministry. Instead, they use it in the same way they would their personal social media account. The key to a successful online ministry is strategically leveraging these platforms so your ministry can grow efficiently.

Step 5: Build a Content Strategy

Your final step is to build a content strategy for your digital ministry. Your online ministry content strategy must be created in light of the vision and goals you led out in the first two steps. Your content strategy must align with the ministry funnel you outlined in step three, and the content must be created accordingly. One of the biggest mistakes online ministers make is not being strategic and intentional with their content.

Growing Your Online Ministry

By following the five steps I’ve highlighted here, you will begin your journey in building an impactful, inviting, focused, and intentional online ministry. But at the same time that this guide may be a helpful entry point, there’s still so much to learn about how to build a thriving career in ministry.

Be sure to check out ChristianMinistryEDU.org’s comprehensive guide to vocational ministry.