Time to Pull the Plug on the Church Program

We are all such traditionalists at times.  Because we have had Family and Friends Day for 30 years, the thought of pulling the plug seems blasphemous and sacra religious.

It’s immaterial that the same 20 people are coming out to support it every year while at the same time fussing that others aren’t there.

Hey guys, BUY a clue.  It AIN’T working. We must stop torturing people.

At minimum, we need to be doing an assessment of all our programming, identifying what works and what doesn’t. Using our team to assist in this process goes along way.

Refusing to assess our programming, is equivalent to forcing a square peg into a round hole. Doing this only leads to wasted energy, anxiety and frustration. There is a saying that
doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Below are 9 questions to aid pastors in assessing programs.


  1. How long is the program?  Does it go on for more than 2 hours?
  2. Does the program start and end on time?
  3. When are we having the program, in the evening on Sunday 2pm, 3pm, 4pm or later?
  4. Is this evening event being held during peak times like during football/basketball season?
  5. Is our evening program a carbon copy of our morning service?`
  6. Are we offering a meal or any refreshments?
  7. Are we the one preaching again for evening service or do we have a guest speaker?
  8. Is at least our paid or leadership staff in the house? For example our musicians, praise leader, elders,lay staff, associate pastors, etc.?
  9. Are we observing people’s responses. Are they engaged or disengaged? Do they seem genuinely happy to be there? Do they have the look that they can’t wait for it to end?


Here are (3) consideration in deciding the fate of our programs:

1) ADJUST & TWEAK IT!   Our program may not need to be eliminated, but certain adjustments in the programming may be necessary.  For example, statistically speaking, once people go home, it’s hard to get them to come back after 4PM and keeping them more than two hours wears them out.

Consider a shortened 1 1/2 hour program. We may want to AXE the call to worship, limit scripture readings to preacher’s text and limit the number of choral selections.

Even though our worship is far more important than football, only a few will accommodate extra services during football season especially during times like the playoffs or Superbowl Sunday.

2) INFUSE & COMBINE IT!  There are just so many times during the year where there are opportunities to put components of our traditional programs along side of other programs.

On a single sheet of paper list all of our annual events and programs.  Look at them and see whether we can combine into one evening service.  Instead of having a separate service celebrating your new members consider recognizing them on Easter Sunday morning. Friends and Family Day could be combined with a Back to School event.  There are any number of opportunities to infuse.

3) PULL THE PLUG ON IT!  If after we have tweaked and gave it careful evaluation, we may just have to come to terms with the fact that some things just don’t work anymore.  The pioneers for some programs have went on to see what the end would bring and the ones left behind simply do not share the same passion.

If it is the same 20 people in attendance, the majority of them are probably attending out of a sense of obligation. Taking up calendar space to keep programs on life support simply is not good stewardship.  It stifles the creativity of our churches.   It’s okay to Let Go and Let God.  God is the author of the ‘New.’

Can you relate to this post? Share some of the ideas you have had in deciding the fate of your programs.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Time to Pull the Plug on the Church Program

  1. We need to learn to practice what Jesus did. He spoke to the people in his day in their language.
    We must remain relevant. The word does not change. And yet the word is applicable to the the changes and challenges we face. We come to church to be lifted / motivated. We hope to find solutions to our problems.We are looking for a word from God. Pressure on the job, discord in the home. Husband / Wife out to lunch. Children acting like they have lost their mind.

    It is one thing to leave the church. But you need not leave The Lord. Some times this can cause you to draw closer to God. THIS IS A GOOD THING. You will experience a depth that you never dreamed exist. God is the same yesterday today and for ever. When thou are converted strength your brother. We are still without excuse. We may not find the answers with in the four walls. Try going within, be still for awhile. LISTEN TO THAT SMALL STILL VOICE. Count it not strange concerning the fiery test that you are experiencing. You are not going to lose your mind. God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

    Have you ever considered that you are called to feed GOD’S SHEEP.

  2. Pulling the plug- who is responsible to pull the plug?

    Are we speaking of pulling our personal plug?
    Were is my focus. Speaking to me, myself and I. On a personal tip are there plugs in my life that I NEED TO PULL. Are there some relationships plugs that I need to pull. What about some financial plugs that need to be pulled. Some of my thought process plugs need to be pulled.
    This is a good place for me to start pulling plugs. Especially negative thinking.

    Pulling personal plugs are much harder than trying to pull some one else plug.
    “IF IT’S TO BE IT’S UP TO ME” This is a quote from a famous Bible Teacher.

    After I pull some plugs, I need top plug into the proper source of supply. I can understand the plug pulling process better when I am focusing on me. Plugging in to new power sources can be frightening. Another reason why some refuse to pull the plug. I have been connected so long to this that or the other- I realize that it is very dysfunctional, but I am fearful to pull the plug / disconnect. I have established an identity, I am looked to I CAN NOT PULL THE PLUG.

    I do not say this lightly, when we have years invested in something. It is very hard to pull the plug on the time, energy, money and relationships that you have invested in.

    Pull The Plug, and start over with the knowledge, experience and the vision of who you are.
    Find people who share your vision, people you can trust. Form a group with those people who respect you for who you are. People who will follow your lead.

    And together business as usual can be changed. It is like pouring new wine into old wine skins. We must realize that we have out grown the power supply we have come accustom of using. Two years ago we had to up-grade the power supply coming into our house. We had 110 volts. We now have 220 volts. We had to pull the plug. I am driving an old car, It is time to pull the plug on it.

    When you realize that where ever you are or who you are with- If they are not supplying you with the proper power that you need- It is time to pull the plug. They can only give the amount of power supply that they have.

    Organizations do not change people people change organizations.
    When we get tired of being plugged in 110 volts God has 220 waiting for us to plug into.

    In the natural pulling the plug is dealth. In the Spirit PULLING THE PLUG on that which is dead YOU LIVE.

    I went from pulling the plug on PROGRAMS to pulling your personal plug and establishing God’s program for your life.

    This is what we have been doing with Men2Men. We are tired of blaming others. It was my
    fault that i was attracted to the wrong person, because of my lust. I brought something that I COULD NOT AFFORD, now I AM BACK IN MY BILLS. I can no longer point the finger at my boss, pastor or who ever. I need to take responsibility for my actions.

    We are pulling plug after plug. Especially when who or what you are plugged into is DRAINING THE LIFE OUT OF YOU.

    We all know exactly what plug / plugs need to be pulled.