Designing a Childbirth Ministry
Once you are sure the God is calling you to start a childbirth ministry in your area, you will need to work through some basic organizational planning. This page will help you with the designing work that needs to be completed for your program to be successful.
Where Do I Start?
Your first task will be to find an organization for your ministry to work under, or to organize your ministry as a non-profit organization. Each way has benefits and risks, and only you and the other founders of the ministry can discern how God is calling you to proceed. Working under an existing organization such as a church, community center or pregnancy center will give you instant access to a variety of resources and support. There may be volunteers already willing to help you and you will have meeting and training space available to you. However, it can be difficult to get into an organization if you do not already have a relationship with them. Working under an organization may also cause unwanted dilemmas, such as an uncomfortable relationship with another church or organization that you would like to partner with.
Organizing your own non-profit ministry will involve more work and costs up front, but will give you the most freedom to design the program your way. It will be easy to work with a variety of local churches and community organizations if you are not seen as a group from one particular church. However it may be more difficult to find champions for your cause and funding for your programs without the consistent backing of one organization. Because each state has its own laws about operating a non-profit, it is important to research what is required of you before you decide how to proceed.
Before you begin anything, spend some time listening to God so you can have a good understanding of what exactly you are being called to do. You must have an idea of what services your ministry will provide before you will be able to see clearly how to go about reaching the people with those services. For example, a small group Bible Study would be easiest to form as a part of an existing church, as would a new parent support group. On the other hand, if God is calling you to offer a full range of pregnancy and childbirth services you may feel that opening a community pregnancy center is the way to go. There is no right or wrong way, simply follow the God's lead to decide how to set up your program.
In order for your ministry to work you will need volunteers to provide the services you wish to offer. Remember that before you can offer any services, your volunteers will need to be trained and feel confident in their skills. This can pose a challenge to a new ministry, because you will need to find people willing to do something that no one is doing right now. You may not know how much of a need there is for the services in your area or how often you will be asking your volunteers for help. Do your best to estimate how much help you will need to start, knowing you can grow later.
Once you know what services you would like to provide, you need to decide how to offer them to the public at large. There are many models for support organizations, from one on one work to monthly large group meetings. You will need to determine based on the community you wish to serve, amount of volunteer commitment and funding how your ministry you will offer services. Here are a variety of ways organizations meet community needs. You will be able to think of others as well.
La Leche League Model La Leche League uses monthly small group meetings with at least two trained leaders. The leaders follow a rotating topical schedule, encourage interaction among the participants and have access to other resources. Participants are encouraged to become members of the national organization, but it is not necessary.
AA Model AA hosts weekly or biweekly meetings for participants working through the program. Each participant is paired with a sponsor who explains the program and offers individual support. Success are celebrated with the group. Meetings rotate through twelve topics or "steps."
Couple to Couple League The Couple to Couple League teaches in a one on one or very small group setting. A fee is charged to participate, all materials needed are covered in this fee. Participants receive a high level of personal attention and support.
Boy Scouts Boy Scout packs are groups of individual dens by age group. The Pack all meets on the same night for activities, breaking off for individual den work.
Girl Scouts Girl Scout troops belong to a larger service unit (group of troops), however each troop is autonomous. The troops can be single age or multi-age. The troop chooses for itself what activities it will complete and only gathers with the service unit when desired.