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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

11 Sep '13

When ministries die

Posted by T.J. Addington in ministry death, ministry transitions
Nothing lasts forever and every organization has a life cycle that if not reinvigorated regularly ends at some time in it demise. This is particularly true of local churches that go into serious decline. But also for other ministries. It is not a bad thing and actually can be a good thing.

As Henry Cloud eloquently puts it in his book Necessary Endings, something must end for something else to begin. We face those necessary endings in our own lives and it is always the genesis of something new. 

I once did a church consultation with a congregation of about 30 existing in a 2 million dollar facility. While they were nice people there was no way that they were going to revitalize the ministry. I suggested that they close down and do a restart with a new group in a new location. Even though they had once been a congregation of 500 they wanted to know what evidence I had that they were not healthy.

When it is time to close down, celebrate what God did through the ministry over the years. While the ministry may not be vital now it probably was at one time and it leaves a legacy of changed lives and even though gone its ripples will continue in the people it impacted and those they in turn impact.

And if you can, gift what is left over to another ministry that is starting and you will see your legacy continue.

It is OK and often necessary to let a ministry die. From the ashes comes new life, new paradigms and new opportunities.