Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sunset, then sunrise

January is one of those times of the year when we look  ahead and think about new beginnings, new projects,  and improvements - and sometimes, new starts mean new endings too.

Scott McClellan at Echo Hub asked recently "Is It Time To Schedule A Sunset At Your Church?"  He's not talking about some late afternoon event, but rather a process to shut down programs that have "had their day."
There could be some aspects of your operations that simply do not need to carry over into 2013. Ask yourself this: Could we better pursue our stated mission and vision if we abandoned some of our existing efforts?
Maybe you need to sunset your sock puppet ministry or your handbell choir. Maybe your pastor designs his own slides and it’s time to make a change there. Maybe you need to sunset your church’s library or bookstore. Maybe you need to sunset your weekly video blog. Maybe you need to sunset your cassette/CD ministry.
Your leadership team must walk through those considerations together as you seek God’s guidance. ...if there are pursuits in your organization that don’t help you get any closer to your mission or vision, now is as good a time as any to think about scheduling a sunset.

 Church libraries often go through cycles of vibrancy and dormancy.  They take up resources and personal energy to be successful. Usage can wax and wane as the personal dynamics of library users change.  If you prayerfully discern that your congregational library needs a sunset then make it a glorious sunset. Prepare the library for its dormancy - or ending -  just as you prepare your home before you go on vacation; tie up loose ends, secure the valuables, leave the key with someone who can be trusted and put your trust in God for the next part of your journey.

Remember, there will be a dawn.

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