In ministry, it's important to plan for growth to allow growth. In this post, I'll share 7 questions to help you evaluate your church programming.

Many churches are defined by their programming. It's easy to allow programs to define the church rather than the mission, vision, and strategy. As programs dominate the church it's harder to realize when they are actually becoming barriers to growth or when something within the program is becoming a barrier. Here are some things to think about when evaluating your programming to see if it's a barrier to growth.

  • Does every program fit with your mission and vision? It's easy to make almost any program sound like it lines up with the mission and vision so be watch out for where you're making excuses.
  • Does every program fit with your strategy? This narrows it down even more. Where does this fit in your strategy? Every program takes away resources from the other programs.
  • Are there any programs where you are experiencing huge challenges? Challenge doesn't necessarily mean you should give it up but it may mean it's not a good fit at the moment.
  • Are there programs you wish you didn't have to attend? If you don't want to attend others may not either.
  • Are all of your programs staffed (from a volunteer perspective) at least 70% of what is needed? If not, you may be spread too thin. 100% is wishful thinking, but 85-90% is great. Get volunteer and staff data from over 1,000 churches here.
  • Is each program leading people to take another step in involvement or growth? Programming should lead people somewhere, not collect them.
  • Are there steps in getting involved that are too huge? A large gap could mean you're losing people at some point in the process and they could eventually fall away altogether. Be mindful of where you're asking people to take a really big step. For instance, the step from attending a service to plugging into a small group in some one's house is HUGE. Something in between is good.

How is your programming helping or hurting growth?