Zombie Programs are church events/programs that have died a long time ago, but we still put time, resources, and energy into keeping them alive.
I wrote about the cost of keeping them alive yesterday. My hope was that it caused church leaders to consider the cost and damage that dead programs do to churches.
How do we end these programs without getting ended ourselves?
Pray – God needs to direct you. He needs to speak to the heart of those that will stand in opposition of the decision. You can’t trust in horses, chariots, church programs, or our super awesome ideas. Our trust is with the Lord. He is faithful.
Senior Pastor Support – The lead/senior pastor HAS to be on board with stopping the program. I know it’s under another pastor’s direct ministry, but that doesn’t matter. When people complain they go to the senior pastor (unless they are mad at the senior pastor). How he handles those people will make or break this decision. His support speaks a lot to the importance of the needed change. If you don’t have his support, you probably can’t stop the program.
A Plan – Churches don’t stop on a dime. They are large, complicated organizations. It is difficult to cancel a program without six-twelve months to plan. Example: Let’s say my Wednesday night student worship program isn’t working anymore. I evaluate why it isn’t working and decide that there is nothing we can do to make it work on Wednesday. I can’t just kill the mid-week service – volunteers have been recruited and trained, money has been spent, plans have been made, etc. I can however put a plan into action to launch a new Sunday night or Sunday morning service for students. Pray about the situation. Talk to the staff. Throw out a few ideas with volunteers you trust. If I ended it today, the cost would be too great. However, if I ended it in the summer and launched a student service on Sunday morning/evening in September 2016 that could build incredible momentum. Some people will still be against it, but hopefully those leaders that love it will support it.
Walk In The Spirit – “God’s not obligated to sustain what you started” – Christine Caine When we walk in the flesh, we choose what makes sense. We trust in what is known. That isn’t faith. God needs to led us to make these type of decisions. He may direct you to something that you never would have thought about without Him. Too many times we are making the really important decisions while we aren’t walking with the Lord. If you aren’t there spiritually then get away for a few days. Wait until you are being led by the spirit and not just by the desire to change things.