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7 Reasons Churches have Programs, not Steps

October 12, 2011

Some organizations are like Little League batters. If they just hit the ball anywhere, they get excited and feel good about what they’ve done. It doesn’t really matter if they get on base or if what they do actually gets them where they want to go. They are just trying to hit the ball somewhere. They are not thinking about home plate and the steps to get there.

Unfortunately, churches have a reputation for doing ministry without an end in mind. They build as many rooms as possible to reach as many people as possible. They start new ministries to target a variety of issues. They create countless programs to meet the growing needs of those who are attending. It all makes sense. It all seems right. It even feels productive. But there is no overall strategy and no runners are moving home. The questions they should be asking is not Are we hitting the ball? but rather Are we getting closer to home plate? – 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Stanley & Willits.

Here are 7 Reasons Churches have Programs, not Steps:

1. They don’t have a clear strategy.

2. They have bought into a ministry “menu” philosophy.

3. They feel pressure to provide programming on the basis of needs, not purpose.

4. Their staff has built their identity around a program and not a mission.

5. They do not have a culture that confronts the “brutal facts”.

6. They fear the fallout of eliminating certain programs.

7. They have not given their leaders permission to “not” do some things.


Why do you think as church leaders we are geared to think in terms of programs vs. steps?

What makes an effective step? Let’s talk about that tomorrow.


From → Leadership, Ministry

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