Monday, October 17, 2011

Planned Abandonment

Programs that are terminally ill need to be put out of their misery. Any ministry that has lost its effectiveness needs to eliminated.  This is called PLANNED ABANDONMENT.

Eliminating dead programs has the same positive effect on our future as tilling the soil has for next years crop. It makes the future possible. It sets the stage so that new seeds can grow without the old roots choking them out. Without this commitment and willingness to cease funding and staffing the programs that no longer work well, we will never have enough money and energy to create the future.

The difficulty with axing certain programs is that every program has its champions. Even after rigor mortis has set in, someone will champion the cause. Usually these champions are leaders who invested time and energy into making the program successful in the first place, or a tiny remnant who believe that if it “helps just one person” it’s worth it whatever it costs.

But a senior leadership team cannot allow these people to sway how resources and time are allocated. If we give-in to everyone who pleads for heroic measures to save their favorite ministry, it won’t be long until we’ve become a historical preservation society, so loaded with ‘yesterday’ that we have no energy or resources left for ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow.’

We have only a limited supply of time, energy, workers, and money. That’s why I will ask the question, “Why are we doing this?” If there is no good reason, we will abandon it. I will say, “Show me the results.” If there is not enough measurable data to demonstrate its effectiveness, we will discontinue the activity in favor of a newer initiative.

We need to understand the importance of planned abandonment. We must deliberately ask ourselves, “What ministries or initiatives in PCC are no longer effective?” And once identified, we must let them go. Most people will see it as heartless, but it’s not. It’s about making room for the future.

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