• Program Priority

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, August 16th, 2010


What is a Program Priority in Church? From my vantage point it has been my observation that many churches have what I call a Program Priority. Basically, it is that program that seems to characterize a church. A church can become known for this priority, i.e., a Missions Church or a Youth Church. Two things tend to drive this priority: the vision and focus of the leadership (often the pastor) and/or allocation of funds in the church budget. This is an observation taken from where the money goes.

When you are new to a church, one is wise to assess whether there might be such a program priority…music, worship, preaching, outreach/ evangelism, discipleship or maintenance of the facilities and grounds. The image of a landmine seems appropriate. Things could explode, if you unknowingly step on it. So failing to discover your church’s Program Priority must just be a landmine that might cause you some serious adjustment. Think about it!

Of course, for some of us, we would love to be in a church that has Children’s Ministry as the Program Priority. But is this desirable? At first, you might just say, “of course, I would love to work in a church where Children’s Ministry is the Program Priority. However, according to the studies done by the church-growth experts, they have found that churches that grow the fastest are the churches who focus on families with young children. An emphasis on family could have some serious impact on your ministry to children.

In the long view, there are seasons to Program Priority, i.e., shifts in the development of ministry. For example, a building program may disrupt or defer former priorities and completing the building project becomes the overriding priority for a season. There must be periods for program development, and sometimes, we have to be patient with the system, while it adjusts to another level.

All of us are experiencing some serious adjustments from our changing economy. Perhaps, your new Program Priority is to keep the boat afloat and adjust, while our boat finds a new equilibrium.

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