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.
- How long is the program? Does it go on for more than 2 hours?
- Does the program start and end on time?
- When are we having the program, in the evening on Sunday 2pm, 3pm, 4pm or later?
- Is this evening event being held during peak times like during football/basketball season?
- Is our evening program a carbon copy of our morning service?`
- Are we offering a meal or any refreshments?
- Are we the one preaching again for evening service or do we have a guest speaker?
- Is at least our paid or leadership staff in the house? For example our musicians, praise leader, elders,lay staff, associate pastors, etc.?
- 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.