Building traction when you are starting a new program or resource can be difficult. In an effort to assist ministry leaders we have created our own Leadership Implementation Strategy. Following this simple 7-step process will help you successfully launch HEROIC MEN in your parish or ministry.

1. Team Up

Sustainable ministry cannot be achieved through the sole work of an individual. It takes teamwork for ministries to thrive. Building a team of men who can help with reviewing content, planning and promoting your ministry will reduce the pressure on you as a leader and empower others to use the skills they already have.

The following are some of the qualities you should be looking for in a team member. Every team member won't have everyone of these qualities but every team member should have at least a few.

  • Faithful
  • Some leadership experience
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Organized
  • Team player
  • Leader
  • Charismatic
  • Intentional and purposeful in their communication
  • Dedicated
  • Believe in the mission
  • Overachiever
  • Flexible

One of the most daunting tasks as a leader can be recruiting your team. This is usually because we fear rejection and wasting valuable time and energy. One way to save time is to make sure you are targeting the right people and that you make the invitation personal. Below are a few guiding principles when recruiting.

Know your audience and acknowledge their strengths. If you can make a connection with the person you are recruiting they are more likely to say yes. Ideally, this team member would be someone you know personally. However, if you are recruiting an acquaintance, you can still acknowledge something about them. For instance, if you have witnessed them regularly serve as an usher at mass you should begin there.

Referrals can be powerful. If you aren't sure who to ask, simply start by talking to the people you do know to find out if they might know others who could be interested. Have them connect you with their contacts and be sure to ask them to identify why they think a particular individual would be a good team member.

Be clear. Volunteers like to know exactly what they are getting signing up for. Clearly communicate how you would like them to help and make sure you identify how their strengths will be an asset. This will help them understand how they fit into the big picture.

Be prepared. If you are asking for help, you need to be ready to answer follow-up questions. How much of their time do you need? What will they be doing? How long will this commitment last? What are you trying to accomplish?

One of the most daunting tasks as a leader can be recruiting your team. This is usually because we fear rejection and wasting valuable time and energy. One way to save time is to make sure you are targeting the right people and that you make the invitation personal. Below are a few guiding principles when recruiting.

2. Explore

All ventures have a discovery phase. HEROIC MEN is home to a broad range of resources. Take sometime to review the HEROIC MEN Resource Page and the HEROIC MEN platform. The Resource Page is full of useful study guides and promotional materials to help you launch your program. We suggest beginning with our content that already has leader resources available. The HEROIC MEN platform has a custom navigation bar and dropdown menus to help you find relevant programs. Taking the time to review the platform will help you identify a starting point for usage. Have your team share their insights on the content that they think will be most effective for your ministry.

3. Structure

After you have identified the content you would like to utilize, you will need to put together a plan to use the content in your ministry. The following are things you should consider when developing a plan to utilize content.

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What are your goals?
  • What does success look like?
  • What are some obstacles that you anticipate with launching this program?
  • What is the best time to gather?
  • How long will you gather?
  • How frequently will you gather to review content?
  • How can you apply the content to daily life?
  • How are you integrating prayer?

4. Align

Alignment accelerates growth. The fastest way to get a program off the ground is to ensure that it aligns with the other goals and missions of your ministry and parish. Once alignment is accomplished, you will have multiple structures/organizations working together to propel you to realize your shared vision. Alignment and structure should be coordinated in unison. The last thing you want is to build something that has multiple forces working against it. The following list has basic suggestions for achieving alignment in your organization or parish.

  • Identify complimentary efforts.
  • Be proactive about reaching out to other organizations and leaders.
  • Anticipate potential forces that might be working against you. (Most of these will be scheduling conflicts.)
  • Think creatively about countering those forces. (ex. Schedule a meeting shortly after a large event. If there are competing ministries, look into ways you can help their ministry rather than disrupt it.)
  • Prior to launching make sure you have communicate your plan with your most influential stakeholders.
  • Review the liturgical calendar and feast days.
  • Connect with communications directer at the parish. They can help you identify potential conflicts and the best ways to promote your project.
  • Talk your pastor.

5. Promote

The Resource Page has multiple promotional resources that are available for print and social media. If one of your goals is to bring in more people, be sure to give yourself at least 3-4 weeks to promote your program. Most people need to see things multiple times before they take action.

Your team is one of the best assets you have to promote your program. Enlist them with specific tasks to get the word out. A personal invitation has more power than any other promotional resource that you will use. Your pastor also has a huge influence on the community. If you can get your pastor to make an announcement, you will see a response. Many parishes have a communications director, they will know the best ways to engage the community.

6. Challenge

Accomplishing a challenge can be one of the most rewarding practices we can engage in. This is no different when considering matters of faith. In many ways completing challenges can provide motivation and help us measure growth. In order for a challenge to be effective there have to be clear parameters that describe what you are trying to accomplish and when you should accomplish those goals.

After reviewing content and connecting with your group, identify one or two action items that you can implement in your daily or weekly regiment. Challenges can be specific to the individual or apply to the entire group. Be sure to report back to your group on your progress. This will help you to remain accountable to accomplishing your challenge. Ideally the challenge would be related to the content that you discussed in the group.

7. Follow-up

The only way to measure success is to follow-up with your users. Feedback is one of the most valuable assets you can acquire. This will help you plan for the future.