Rich Kirkpatrick

How to Determine When To Quit or Save a Church Ministry

There comes a time when a beloved event, ministry function, or recurring project must come to an end. Since these were birthed by the passion and time of your volunteers and church leaders, sunsetting them can be a touchy topic to approach. Wisdom shows us that everything has its time and season. Whether or not the church ministry is loved or formerly successful does not necessarily make it effective or entirely helpful. How do you pull the plug on a church ministry or know when to keep it on life support? After all, every ministry has a shelf life.

There are several questions to ask and answer before either entering the arduous process of pulling the plug or committing to propping up a dying ministry. With each question, things may become clearer. There are only so many days in the year and dollars in the budget. Our church members should be encouraged to be good stewards. However, leadership is about making their stewardship count as much as possible. If we do not lead intentionality, we might actually be sending the message that we don’t respect their time, treasure, or talent.

Does this activity still achieves its intended goals?

Some events on the calendar have been there for years. Every season, I proposes a checkup and review to rate how the actual goals are reached. I know this sounds business like, but we need to measure something, right? In business, the goals are often simply profit and loss. In ministry, people are the goal. What are the goals for each event or ministry at your church? Often, it quickly becomes clear if there are no goals. Either they have not been communicated, modeled, or accountable. If your goal is to reach seniors at a tea and no seniors show up then you are not reaching one goal of that event.

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