Jared Wilson on Under-Programming Church

10 excellent reasons to under-program your church from Jared Wilson. Check them out:

1. You can do a lot of things in a mediocre (or poor) way, or you can do a few things extremely well.
2. Over-programming creates an illusion of fruitfulness that may just be busy-ness.
3. Over-programming is a detriment to single-mindedness in a community.
4. Over-programming runs the risk of turning a church into a host of extracurricular activities, mirroring the “Type-A family” mode of suburban achievers.
5. Over-programming dilutes actual ministry effectiveness.
6. Over-programming leads to segmentation among ages, life stages, and affinities, which can create divisions in a church body.
7. Over-programming creates satisfaction in an illusion of success; meanwhile mission suffers.
8. Over-programming reduces margin in the lives of church members.
9. Over-programming gets a church further away from the New Testament vision of the local church.
10. Over-programming is usually the result of un-self-reflective reflex reactions to perceived needs and and an inability to kill sacred cows that are actually already dead.

Be sure to read his additional commentary on the points as well.  These points are so important to consider that I cannot recommend them highly enough. Seriously, one of the most basic ways of undergoing local church reformation is considering the ministry design and labor to “under-program” your church.

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2 Comments on “Jared Wilson on Under-Programming Church”

  1. Pete Says:

    Great advice and analysis, thanks. Simple Church led me down the road to this kind of thinking.

  2. Jim Pemberton Says:

    It is good to do only that which you can. Most average churches that I have seen have the pastor involved in anything and everything as the primary leadership. You can wear your pastor out letting him do this while becoming too dependent on his leadership in every minutia of ministry.

    Our senior pastor, Skip, leads nothing except the church and the ministerial staff, and that’s plenty. He may determine the few key important ministries according to the direction he sees God leading the church and assign oversight to members of the staff. However, the bulk of the ministry of the church is entirely led by average members of the congregation, except that he reviews them for doctrinal and ministerial soundness. Skip spends hit time focusing on how to equip us and we step up to the plate to exercise what we have been equipped with. And we have more going on than I could list, but I’ll list a few that are entirely lay-led:

    We have a multitude of significant mission efforts. I June a few of us are going to India to evangelize and hold a pastor’s conference to equip local pastors. We have a ministry in our town where members teach the Bible to kids on the street in poor neighborhoods. We have a one-on-one discipleship ministry in our church. We have a ministry to Christians in our community of liberal denominations who have been disenfranchised by the liberal movements in their churches. We are housing and building the local CEF chapter. We started the first Good News Club only a couple of years ago. This year we are starting clubs in 7 new schools and the superintendent of a nearby county wants us to start that many in his districts too. Some members bought an old church next to ours and have turned it into a school. They outgrew it and are using the classrooms in our church now as well. All this is lay-led and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.


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