Two weeks ago, our student ministry wrapped up another great DNow weekend! From my count, this year marked the 15th year (at least) our church has held a DNow weekend. Over the years, DNow has served our student ministry very very well. Allowing students to grow deeper with God and closer to each other. This was the goal. DNow is an event that our students have looked forward to each year for many years. But what about now? What about next year? Should we keep it as is, rebrand it or kill it? Most importantly, how do you know what to do?
This post has nothing to do with DNow, sorry. But it has everything to do with how you and your team evaluate what you value. Our team makes it a regular practice to evaluate every event within the next two weeks after the event. During this event evaluation, the team determines the successes and the challenges of it, as well as the value of keeping it on the calendar.
One of the hardest things for a leader to do is to kill an event or program that has served them so well in the past. Marshall Goldsmith correctly said, “What got you here won’t get you there”. The things that got you where you are will not get you where you want to be. Every good leader needs to have the courage to hang up their favorite memory for the next great opportunity.
Here are a couple questions I use to guide this discussion with my team: I hope these are helpful for you and your team as you plan for the future.
1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR CHURCH/MINISTRY? Every event should be designed to fulfill the purpose of your church/ministry. Does this event create movement towards or away from the purpose and vision of your church?
2. WHAT VALUE DOES THIS EVENT BRING TO YOUR CHURCH/MINISTRY? Does it help or hurt what you value the most? For us, our regular weekend worship experience and LifeGroups are what we value the most. I have learned that sometimes great events can hinder our weekend worship experience and our LifeGroup health. Do your beliefs and behaviors align? What you value should be reflected in the events you do and how you do them.
3. WHAT DOES THIS EVENT ACCOMPLISH THAT COULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED ANY OTHER WAY? Is this the only way to skin this cat? *No cats were harmed! Give yourself the freedom to look up and see what else could be done if you did not have to do this event. What good thing could you say “no” to in order to say “yes” to a great thing? Don’t just have an event to have an event.
4. WHAT’S THE WORD ON THE STREET? What are your leaders and students talking about? Are your students looking forward to it? Are they asking when signups begin? Is there an anticipation spirit or an enduring spirit? The words of your people about the event can assist you in what to do with the event.
5. FINALLY, ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IT? Chances are, if you’re not excited about the event, they won’t be either. Sometimes I find myself having to create false hype around a “thing”. But in the back of my head I know that there is no way I would attend the event if I was not the pastor. So, find out from others how excited they are about the event as well. Chances are, the people you are trying to reach feel the same way.