What does your church's service and event calendar look like? Do you have something (or even multiple things) going on at your church each day? We all want to reach our communities and bring people to Christ. However, sometimes we end up doing so many things that we're stretched too thin and can't do any of them extremely well. So, how can you tell if you're starting to do too much?
Here are five signs you might be over-programmed:
#1: Volunteers avoid making eye contact with you
While you may have dedicated volunteers who love to serve, even the most servant-minded of them may dread seeing you coming if you ask too frequently. Don't burn out your volunteers with too many requests. Make sure you coordinate with other ministry areas to make sure you're not asking the same people to serve at the same event. Also, while it's tempting to ask the "dependable Dan's" each time, you need to branch out and recruit new people to spread the workload (or do fewer events).
#2: Announcements are the longest part of the service
No one likes to sit through ten announcements between worship and the sermon. Even if you have be most amazingly creative media team, those fun videos won't be so fun if it feels like watching a million previews before the movie starts. Either spread out the events over a longer period of time or change up how you do announcements (some video / on-stage, some via social media and email, etc.).
#3: Staff members work late on a regular basisfor weeks in a row
If there are cars parked in your church parking lot until 11pm each night (or later!), you have a problem. You will wear out your team having them sprint to get things ready for an event every other week. You can reduce the event volume, get more volunteers involved, scale back the events, or lose team membersit's up to you.
#4: When someone comes up to the Information Booth to signup for an event happening next Tuesday, you have to ask "Which one?"
Yes, there are times when you'll have more than one event in a day. That may include a women's Bible study in the morning and a youth event in the evening. I get it. However, look at your calendar for the next few months. If you have multiple events happening each day on a regular basis, you may start running into issues. That could mean your team is stretched too thin, your normally ready-for-anything volunteers aren't volunteering, your facilities team can't keep up with the maintenance, etc. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever do multiple things in a day. You just may not want to do that every day.
#5: The number of attendees at each event continues to dwindle
If you offer too much, your congregation may feel overwhelmed by all the choices and not participate at all. Or they'll feel like they're being asked to "live" at the church instead of spending time at home with their families. Variety is good and you should offer different types of programs or events for people to choose from. However, it can get out of control if you're not careful.
Programs, events, and special services are excellent opportunities to serve your congregation and community. You can reach out to people in different stages of life and various interests. As you plan these events, please keep the health of your team and volunteers in-mind. They need time at home with their families just as much as they need fellowship with other believers at church. Make sure they realize you value both and plan accordingly.