New leaders tend to rely on old things when designing a ministry structure. It's natural and wise to look backwards at the outset but a failure to adapt to the present and engage the future will lead to a mediocre or average ministry long-term.
Looking back at my five years at Chico State I wished I had considered these three L's more intentionally as I helped design our ministry structure:
Understanding the idiosyncrasies of those you lead to me is the most important factor in designing a ministry structure. We switched from single-sex to co-ed bible studies after my first year because our team noticed that Chico State students are EXTREMELY social and the freshmen do not identify themselves by the dorm in which they live.
My previous ministry experience was the exact opposite. Had I projected the realities from my past context I would have missed out on leading one of the most crucial pieces of change (it resulted in a 400% increase in freshmen retention).
What is true of the campus/church/neighborhood/city that is unique from every previous place you have been? That's a great place to start in understanding the reality of your location. Every element of your ministry structure should represent the personality of your locality in some form or fashion. At UCLA we had a study hall set up at our Fall Retreat--perfect for UCLA and resulted in more students attending.
I placed the leader third because only after understanding the locals and locality can you effectively integrate your strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and passions into the ministry structure. The leader that listens and diagnoses before they make decisions will set a better course for the future.
Click here to see a post on the ministry funnel illustrated.