Death by Program

When I started in ministry over 22 years ago, I was taught to begin as many programs as possible.  The thought process was "the more programs you have, the more people you will reach and disciple."  But over the years, I have found the opposite to be true.  It is more effective to do a few programs with excellence than to do a lot of programs with mediocrity.

Do you feel like you are drowning in programs?  Are you doing so many programs that your volunteers, time, resources, budget, and focus are spread too thin?  Here's some things to consider when it comes to programming.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. 
Steve Jobs said, "Sometimes you have to say no to a 1000 good things so something great can live."

Just because someone wants you to doesn't mean you should. 
There will always be people asking you to start a program or host an event.  Don't let programs be attached to a personality.  Let programs be attached to a process.  Which leads to the next thought.

Think processes instead of programs. 
Establish processes that help people grow in their faith.  The processes should drive your programming instead of your programming driving your processes.  Every program should be a strategic step in the process. 

Busy doesn't equal effective.  A full calendar should not be your goal.  An effective calendar should be your goal.  This means being very strategic with your calendar planning.

Be willing to change or stop programs that are not effective. 
Every year take a hard look at your programs.  Are people being reached?  Are people growing in their faith?  Are families' lives being changed?  It may be time to let some of the ministry plates you are spinning fall to the ground.  Even if it's a ministry plate that has been spinning for 20 years that was started by the organ player's grandmother.

Is it time to let some mediocre programs die so some good programs can become great programs?

Posted by Dale Hudson