3 Signs A Program Needs To Die

“WHY AM I DOING THIS?” That was the question racing through my mind as I was cleaning out the crab water from the trunk of my car after the middle school crab feast.  It had been a fun night; however, nothing had changed.  I wondered, “Is it time for this program to die?”

Just like volunteers and students, programs will come and go.  You need to determine when they should go before they hurt your ministry.  3 signs a program needs to go is that it starts to:  


A program without a purpose is really a waste of time.  It uses your resources, money and people without moving your ministry.  Whether you are creating or just evaluating a program you need to ask the question:

Does this serve our vision?

Anything that is misaligned with your vision will slow down your church.  It will create unnecessary tension and even prevent you from getting there.


Your ministry is meant to grow disciples and introduce the next generation into a relationship with Christ.  You can unintentionally create consumers if you worry more about their wants than their needs.  To avoid creating consumers be sure to:

  • Cast vision into their life.
  • Challenge the to move outside of their comfort zone.
  • Encourage them to share what they learn.

The more you get them to think outside of themselves the further you’ll move them away from church consumerism.


A program could be popular and successful, but it might not be beneficial to your ministry.  If you find that what you pour in is not reflected in the results it’s time to shut it down (except when you are starting something up).

To determine whether or not a program is worth the effort you need to monitor your:

  • Time spent 
  • Money invested
  • Energy expedited

If you are constantly on empty or in the red it’s time to stop.  If you keep going you’ll find yourself heading towards burnout.

If you find that you need to eliminate any program make sure you:

  • Run It By The Pastor: Get his feedback and get his support.  You’ll want him behind you when people pushback.
  • Rally The Team: You’ll need to get your volunteers are on board.  Sit with them and go over the reasons.  Make sure they are clear on why.  
  • Know Emotions Will Rise: People will take it personally and that’s okay.  You might be eliminating a tradition or something very dear to them.  Allow emotions to be expressed and then move on.

Do not be afraid of eliminating a program.  Your ministry is a movement.  It’s about creating disciples.  Anything else and you might be asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?”

How do you determine whether or not a program needs to die?