Complexity: Streamlining the Ministry Event Calendar

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If you’ve been following the blog over the last few weeks, you know that we’re focusing on reducing ministry program complexity. A few weeks ago, I shared some steps to help you determine what ministry programs need to be stopped.

Today I want to dig a little deeper into that topic and look specifically at your ministry event calendar.

We’ve established in previous weeks that many churches tend to be over-programmed. There’s a good chance that a lot of these same churches are event-driven as well. Generally the thought behind events is that if we want people to take a next step, we need to get them in a certain place at a certain time and teach them. Then when people don’t show up to our events, we assume they are unspiritual or uncommitted.

The truth is, by loading up our event calendars we are asking people to make their lives more busy. We’re adding to the complexity.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that all events should be eliminated. I do believe there’s a place for events if they’re done right. It’s important to consider what distinguishes a healthy event from an unhealthy one. I’ve shared this chart before, but since I still see so many churches that struggle to evaluate their events, I thought it might be time to share it again:

Events Chart (1)

If you haven’t in the past, it may be time to reevaluate the events your church offers in a given calendar year. I recommend listing every event, and then as a team, assessing whether each event is healthy or not.  

Use this as an opportunity to simplify your approach to ministry. This may mean adjusting an unhealthy event so it can be moved to the healthy column. Or you may discover that it’s time to completely cut some unhealthy events from your calendar.

Whatever you do, don’t continue scheduling events just because you’ve always done them. If you’re willing to get serious about eliminating some events from your calendar, I can tell you from experience that you will help more people take next steps without pulling them in too many directions.


If you find yourself with too many events, what you really lack is a clear strategy. And we can help with that.

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About Author

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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