SMG Info
December 29, 2020

What is SMG?

The Serenissima Ministry Group is a Gospel-centered network which serves and supports churches and ministers to be effective in their cities, regions, and countries. SMG is primarily focused in Europe with around 12 ministries but not exclusively in Europe as our partnerships and friendships are growing in a number of other locations, too. SMG-EU is supported by The Serenissima Ministry Group International which is our sister and oversight board located in the USA. This collaboration gives us the ability to be a 501(c)3 non-profit association which allows for charitable tax contribution deductions as permitted by the law in the USA. This benefits many of our donors located in the States, and it also assists us to keep our costs and overhead low resulting in more resources to the ministries and projects in the group.

Where we are & where we are going

We are currently developing projects in 5 different countries. As we pray, serve, and support each of these ministries, our hope is that they in turn will support each other and then other ministries around them. We desire for them to resource other churches and to serve them in the same loving, generous, and caring way.

How we are organized through Service Streams

Some of the ways in which we support and strengthen the ministries is through various service opportunities which we have categorized into streams. We currently have 5 service streams with many different services in each one of the streams. All of the streams were precisely chosen to meet needs that are often overlooked by other networks and to serve in areas in which we are specialized. We believe through these service streams and through connecting the strengths of other partnered networks, we can grow the health and vision of the younger ministries which will increase their effectiveness for planting again.

Our 5 service stream areas are Relational, Financial, Intercultural, Contextual, & Consultational. You can read more about them on our Services page.

Our really-hard-to-quantify emphasis

The emphasis of our ministry group is on relationships. All of our ministers and church planters are friends and family before they are missionaries and workers. Our service team and prayer teams carry each of the families and ministries in our hearts and before the Lord. We communicate with our partners frequently and they share their burdens and victories with each other, too. As we are all spiritual friends, the relationships can continue to deepen year after year and with every care and prayer. Relationships are really hard to quantify, but our desire is to build synergy through mutual care and affection where all of our partners can tangibly sense that SMG is walking together with us through the various ups and downs.

Advantages of SMG

While we are a small network, one of the great advantages is that we can organize and specialize with more service and support while we scale incrementally. For our ministries and their partners, here are some of the initial benefits of being linked together.

low-cost, accountable financial services -- as SMG covers a good portion of the admin and accounting costs, we can pass those savings on to our ministry partners and take care of our donors' needs to be able to free up the time and concerns of the ministers in their respective fields.

we help answer the question "what next?" -- often, when ministries are getting started or opening a new chapter, they experience the struggle of now knowing what to do next. With our many years of combined ministry experience, we can help our ministries explore their best options and priorities moving forward and apply those to

we walk in parallel with other networks -- we recognize that there are multiple, like-minded networks assisting churches and church planting. Each one of them has a series of strengths in areas where they specialize. Instead of reinventing what other networks are already doing, we recognize their strengths and encourage the collaboration of our ministry partners to work in parallel with them and benefit from how the Lord might be using them, too.

we work at the level where the planters are -- yes, we believe it is important to have a great vision because we have a great God. Additionally, it is important for our partners to set faith-goals, to dream, and to plan well. As God gives us more and more of His vision, SMG desires to help the planters take the steps toward that vision. We don't set quotas and a certain number of churches to be planted. Where there are towns and cities without fresh, Gospel witness then our numbers are set for us. Instead, we desire to help each planter to build healthy ministries now and then to always pray and plan in light of the next church plant. We believe a healthy church will have the burden to multiply and then do it. So, we carefully assess where the planters are working now.

we are not network-first -- networks often begin with great visions and high recruitment. One of the struggles is that as the network scales in growth, the organization doesn't scale with it and it loses its efficacy, resulting in a lot of support needed to keep the network going. This can detract from ministry efforts more than it can help them. So, we are committed not to scale until we know that we are serving each ministry well and that we have the capacity for the next one.

How to become a part of SMG

If you have been looking through our site and find that our approach, heartbeat, and philosophy resonates with you, then please feel free to contact us to find our more information and to begin to see if SMG is a good fit for you or a ministry you are partnered with. We would be happy to interview with you and answer any questions you might have.