Archives For Programs

Disclaimer: This isn’t a commentary about Walmart, or discourse about how they are affecting the business and economic climate in various areas, or even an endorsement of Walmart. In fact, this could relate to any “big box” store, I just opted to use Walmart as the example. Though it may sound like it, I am not “bashing” large, or multi-site, churches either. These are my thoughts designed to spark your own thoughts and view on the topic.

A couple of weeks ago, Tony Kummer wrote an article for a series of articles being written about the “Future of Children’s Mnistry” (you can read it here). His article spurred some thoughts in me, and I wanted to share them here. Item # 3 in his article really struck a chord with me. It was “Church Consolidation”.

I wondered if the Mega Church movement we see today is the Walmart mentality in ministry. Are these mega-churches (even churches with about 500 members or more) destroying the smaller local church? While I have not verified the stat, I believe I heard that approximately 80% of churches in PA (maybe the country) have an average membership/attendance of around 100 – 150, and the mindset of  many people is that bigger is better.

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Giving Back the Rewards

Wendy Douglas —  November 15, 2010

Many children’s ministries have a reward system in place for when kids bring their bibles, memorize a verse, etc. Most have a place also where the kids can redeem these rewards for prizes.

Recently I heard Dale Hudson share how his church’s children’s ministry put a new spin on the reward system. Instead of the kids buying something for themselves, they are given an opportunity to serve others by purchasing mission items in India, like a goat or chicken.

By doing this the kids are learning not only are there rewards for doing good, but also that it is better to give than to receive. I think that this could be done as a local mission as well. Maybe the kids could purchase blankets for the nearby homeless shelter or clothing for a child that is in foster care.

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In part one of this article, I talked about how to identify a dying program, ministry or event. I also promised to offer some thoughts on how you might be able to breathe new life into such a program, ministry, or event. That’s what we will do here in Part 2 of “A Season for Everything.”

Let’s start by going on the record – When the time comes for a program to end, we should end it. I stand completely firm in that conviction. However, there may be a program that is faltering that still has life to it and could still be effective for the kingdom. It is programs like these which may be teetering on the brink which we will consider today.

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1. This passage goes on to tell us that there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to keep and a time to throw away. Christians often quote this passage when making a transition in our personal lives, yet when we think of the season for a program within the church ending we are rarely so casual. There is a season for everything and even as summer must turn into fall so must the programs within the church pass to make way for the next season. With the end of one season comes some happiness and some sorrow. Such is also the case with the passing of a program within the church. Now, I am not trying to say that we should approach the passing of a program as casually as spring turning into summer. What I am saying is that we should accept this inevitability even as we accept that the next season is going to come, with or without our approval. No matter how passionate we may be about summer, winter is going to come and, likewise, no matter how passionate we may be about a program, event or ministry their season is going to end.

That brings up the question, “how do I know when the season for a ministry is ending and how do I end it well?” This is a big question, and it’s one I’m certain most people in ministry have considered. In this article I will do my best to address the first part of this question, in subsequent articles I will give some ideas of how to save a dying program and finally how to end it when the time comes. One thing I will not do is tell you that there is an easy way to know when the season is ending, or that there is an easy way to end it. What I will do is give you some signs that it might be ending. I refer only to programs in this article, but the concepts here will apply to any program, event, ministry, or other activity within your church.

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