Card ministries offer the quiet, shy, and reserved a chance to make a difference in the world. Without having to step outside their comfort zones they can inspire, comfort and minister to the hurting and make a few friends in the process. Starting a card ministry is quick and effortless, the hard part is remembering that all the fun you’re having creating handmade cards out of paper and glue has a real purpose—to minister.
Select a cause. Every ministry needs a purpose. Creating cards with that purpose in mind allows you to express the reason for your ministry in the first place—whether it’s to show God’s love to those who’ve committed a crime against society, to offer healing to the grieving or to remind someone that he’s not alone.
Select a parent company. Card ministries have a much higher success rate when they are under the care of a parent company, such as a church or non-profit group. Partly because the parent company has the funds to keep the card ministry afloat when donations dwindle and partly because the parent company already has an established group of people to minister to and a group of people to recruit—complete with contact information.
Pick a ministry name. Pick a name that reflects the interests of the parent company combined with the reason you’ve created your card ministry in the first place. This name can then be used on the back of all your cards as a reminder to the receiver that the card was created with love and was not mass produced.
Draft volunteers. If you choose to use a church as your parent company, request permission to set up a booth before, during and after services to recruit members who would enjoy fellowshipping, crafting and ministering all in one afternoon. Create a brochure complete with meeting dates, member requirements and contact information. You can also request permission to send an invitation letter to every contact the parent company has.
Develop ministry rules. The rules your members must follow should align with the parent company’s mission statement, philosophy or bylaws. The rules should also tell members what you expect from them such as how many meetings they can miss, how many times they must host the ministry in their homes, and who is in charge of what.
Collect supplies. The first place to find supplies is within the supply cabinets of your parent company. The second place you’ll find supplies is within the homes of your members. The third place to find supplies is through a donation campaign.
Create a workstation. You can create one massive work area in which everyone works on the same thing the entire meeting, allowing you to work on assemblage one day and addressing the next, or you could create four small stations: create, assemble, write and package and allow members to break into groups and work on different aspects of the cards on the same day.
Deliver cards. Turn on the computer, open up Microsoft Office, import your mailing list, then print labels complete with addresses. Affix the labels to the envelopes, insert the cards you’ve created, seal, place a stamp on the cards and drop them off at your local postal service. Your job is now complete.
Don’t rush the process. Creating beautiful cards by hand takes time. Enjoy the process.
Pick holidays and events that matter most to the card recipients, not to group members, because they’ll make the cards more meaningful.