Zero-Based Church Scheduling

Zero-Based Church Scheduling

Your church may be too busy.

Indeed, your church calendar may be so full you have rendered much of the activity of the members ineffective. It’s time to start fresh.

I am proposing you dump everything on your church calendar. OK, I’m not serious. But I am serious about your hypothetically cleaning the calendar. Let me give you my argument in a few bullet points:

  • Most churches have too many activities and programs and ministries for their members. Indeed, most of their members are too busy to do ministry in the real world.
  • Over the years, those churches have added many things to the calendar without subtracting many or any. Those churches have a bloated calendar.
  • Attempt this exercise. Start with a blank calendar. We call that zero-based church scheduling. For now, it’s only a hypothetical exercise.
  • Now, fill in the calendar with only those activities you feel will really move the church forward. Keep it simple. Keep it basic.
  • Look at those activities that didn’t make the cut. See if the church is ready to reduce or eliminate the commitment to them. If not, you can make certain you don’t invest more money or time in the activity.
  • If you do this every year, your leadership will become more and more aware of how precious the resource of time is for your members. They will become more cautious before adding even more stress or activities to your members.

In too many of our churches, we have become so busy doing activities, our members have little or no time to do real ministry outside the walls of the church.

We need effective churches, not busy churches.

We need simple churches, not complex churches.

As you move into a new year, consider your church calendar. Be willing to consider reducing or eliminating those activities that lead to busyness but not effectiveness.

It could be the best New Year’s resolution you make.

This article originally appeared here.

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Thom Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

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