These seven points from Thom Rainer about why churches can be too busy are worth considering (or reconsidering) as one year is about to lead into another.
- Many church leaders fail to ask the “why” questions when starting a new ministry.
Why are we starting this ministry? Why should we continue it long-term? Why are we asking people to be involved? When a church has no clear and compelling purpose for a new ministry, it becomes just another activity.
- Churches often have no process or plans to eliminate ministries.
Thus ministries continue even if they are no longer effective or needed. They become analogous to the clutter we often have in our homes.
- Some ministries are started just to please people.
Sometimes church leaders take the path of least resistance and allow new ministries to be added just because one or a few church members wanted them. The ministry may not be the best for the church, but church leaders are often reticent to say no.
- Some ministries have become sacred cows.
Their impact on the church is negligible. Very few people are involved. But any mention of eliminating them is met with stiff resistance.
- Ministries in many churches operate in a silo.
So the student ministry has its own plans. Adult small group ministry has its own calendar without regard for the church as a whole. And the missions ministry makes extensive plans, but does not ask how they tie in with the rest of the church. So the couple who has teenage children wants to be involved in all three areas, but the calendars and activities conflict with one another.
- Some church leaders have a philosophy of always saying “yes” because they desire to see all people unleashed to do ministry.
Such a philosophy is admirable in its motives. But it can devolve into confusion and chaos as countless and disconnected ministries are added to the church’s activities.
- Most churches have no process to evaluate ministries each year.
When ministries continue with no evaluation to their effectiveness, they are likely to be on the church calendar well past the rapture. One of the roles of church leaders is to evaluate ministries every year. There should be some criteria to determine if their continued existence is good stewardship.
Read the whole post here.