Ministry: a constellation of programs and projects that has stated goals and objectives and that continues as long as there is energy to do it. A homeless outreach ministry. A youth ministry. A Christian formation ministry. Needs a Coordinator.
Program: a regularly recurring going on of some kind that has stated goals and objectives and that continues as long as there are participants. A free community meal. A Youth group. A Sunday school. Needs a Director.
Project: a one-time going on of some kind that has stated goals and objectives and that continues until it’s done. A winter coat drive. A Youth Sunday worship service. A four week class on Bonhoeffer. Needs a Manager.
Church leaders, Ruling and Teaching Elders, Pastors and Lay Leaders: what are you working on right now? Is it a project? Then you’re the Manager. Is it a program? Then you’re the Director. Is it a whole ministry? Then you’re the Coordinator.
Very likely you’re Manager, Director, and Coordinator (please let’s resist the urge to codify these into titles; they’re more helpful as leadership descriptions).
I think it helps to know what we’re working on RIGHT NOW and which tools we need to do the work well. Because right now you’re probably coordinating multiple ministries, directing divergent programs, and managing emerging projects at the same time. Those all need different tools.
What are you working on right now? What tools are you using?