What would happen if we started over every time we came to a new ministry event? What if we looked at each new event as a fresh start, a clean slate? What if instead of laziness and routine we found ourselves in a creative and cutting edge place? Maybe there needs to be more done than just changing the dates on a flyer in order to remain fresh and moving in ministry. People need creative thinkers right now who are willing to step into each event with fresh eyes. I am not saying that we can’t use some of the same stuff we have already created. What I am saying is that each event needs to be put together with intention beyond just getting it done and over with. We need vision for true impact on lives for eternity. With that in mind, I offer three indicators that it is time to start throwing out some templates in your ministry.
You routinely have missed errors because of the date
If you know what I am talking about, then you need to throw out the template. These are those times when you come to a meeting or some other event and you realize that the printed materials have the wrong date because all you did was print out last year’s materials with a slight change. I know creating something new can feel daunting, but give it a try.
Creativity is lost
If you have not had a creative idea in years, it is time to throw out the template and to start brainstorming again. Creativity will only come with time and collaboration. I know the best events are those that are planned over a period of time with many people. The worst ones are those thrown together at the last minute. We need to dream again in the church and use the talented people right there!
You don’t know why this program is going on
We are all busy enough without adding programs that just fill time. This can be a difficult place to be because the programs might be a lot of fun. Over time people get very comfortable in their routines. Still, that is not a valid reason when it comes to deciding what is done and when. If you don’t know why a program exists, it is time to take a step back and consider what direction you need to be heading. Sometimes the best thing that can happen is to stop a program. When you do that, the things that are important become better because more time is invested in doing those things well.
I know that ministry planning is difficult, but we do want to leverage the influence we have in order to make the most impact. I believe there are many creative ideas out there that would help us reach our communities for Jesus. It is time to ask the question: “why” and be willing to throw some programs out in order to do what God is calling. Have you asked God in a while to clear the clutter in your ministry? Have you looked at your calendar with fresh eyes? Have you inquired of the people serving as to their level of energy and commitment? When we evaluate, we learn and the church is better for it.
Do you have any methods or tools you use to keep things fresh in your ministry or life?