Gathering a Team and Crafting a Workplan

Gathering a Team
An important first step involves bringing together multiple people to form a core congregational team. New ministries, programs, and other projects within a congregation often emerge from the passion of just one—or perhaps a few—members. Someone might see an opportunity others have overlooked. Or someone may feel stirred to invest in new ways in the lives of others. But carrying out the steps described in this manual is best done in the company of others who share your passion.

Congregations can differ widely in how new ministries or programs are born. In some faith communities, they are launched at the initiative of a congregational leader. In others, it is primarily members who bring forward new ideas. If your congregation already has an active ministry with youth and adults with disabilities, or an employment ministry, this may just be a natural step in deepening and broadening your support.

This section of the manual lays out ideas for identifying a team leader, determining the size of the team, and inviting and identifying team members.

Crafting a Workplan
In addition to identifying members of your congregation interested in supporting people with disabilities to find meaningful employment, it is important to determine how the work of the team fits within the congregation, to articulate the vision for this work, and to determine how the team will run administratively.

How might the efforts of your team fit within the overall movements of the congregation? As mentioned in the previous section, some adopt a more formalized approach where by someone from their congregation’s leadership or staff (e.g., pastor, youth minister) serves on or leads their team. Other congregations we have supported are led by and involve only lay members.

This section of the manual provides guidance on finding a home within the congregation, aligning the mission with a congregation, clarifying the purpose, and organizing administrative tasks.

The next step in the Putting Faith to Work process is to ‎invite job seekers to participate.