One of the best parts of going to church is that it has events where we can meet with a like-minded group of people. Some of these events help us grow in our faith, some allow us to serve our neighbors, some help our children learn, and some give us food and fellowship we can savor.

But we often think, “Man, this is way outdated!” as we participate in church activities, whether in the service or during the week. It’s time to take a stand.

Let’s get rid of the events holding our church back from growing. Let’s find the thriving events and add fuel to the proverbial fire. Let’s get rid of the old, bring in the new, and start today. Here are some church activities that we need to consider dumping now.

Events that are grandfathered in.

Are you still doing a Christmas luncheon just because Betsy Ross was the committee chair of the inaugural event, even though the pastor’s wife is the only person to attend? So many churches cling to declining (and already dead) activities. Why? Because it’s “always been something we do.”

Here’s the problem, though: When we refuse to cut back the withering events, we’re taking time and resources away from thriving activities and ministries. However, don’t just go and cut anything that started before the turn of the century. Something popular 10, 50, or even 100 years ago can still be a hit today. You should always be seeking and listening to feedback and make decisions accordingly.

Offering prayer at the front of the sanctuary.

While wrapping up the service, your pastor motions for the prayer team to come forward as he informs the congregation that these people standing in front of the entire church are willing to pray with anyone. See how this might deter someone? It requires a person to build up the courage to walk up to the front of the church, where everyone can see. That’s not exactly the best idea for something as personal as prayer.

So let’s flip the script: Instead of people walking up to the front of the church, ask people who need prayer to remain seated. Have your prayer team members seek them out and pray inconspicuously. If this isn’t possible due to close service times, you can at least give the person in need a little more privacy by creating rooms in the church where people can pray and keep personal matters personal.

Having parents stand up on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

It’s incredibly kind for your church to want to acknowledge parents on Mother’s or Father’s Day. We can all admit our awe towards all that parents do.

Unfortunately, there are so many couples who struggle with infertility. Some couples have lost a child, and some single parents have limited or no custody of their children. These are all pains that can run deep. So while some parents stand up to receive applause from the congregation, others sitting next to them might be choking back tears.

The solution? Skip the mother or father-based sermon and congregation recognition. If you still want to honor parents, have children make a crafty gift in children’s ministry to give their parents at home.

Fill-in-the-blank Bible studies.

Studying the Bible with a group of people is a great way to strengthen your community and expand your knowledge of God. But there’s a considerable difference between strengthening your knowledge and relationship. When we consider our relationship with God, we want to create a friendship more than a fandom. So how do we fix this? Do away with the fill-in-the-blank exclusive Bible studies and start pursuing both the head and the heart aspects of having a relationship with God.

Gatherings for singles filled with non-singles.

It’s great that your church has a ministry intended for singles to get together with other people in the same stage of life. It’s not so great when the singles group at a church has become filled with married people. No, this isn’t some bait-and-switch intentionally done by a church. Single people begin in the ministry, invest in it, make friends, and don’t want to leave the ministry, even when they’re married.

Single life is very different from married life in significant and challenging ways. While there should be a community between the two stages of life, it can be very beneficial to have a singles ministry at church (as long as that’s what it really is).

Outreach that doesn’t serve your community.

Outreach is a critical part of the church. But do you know what else is vital? Understanding the community you’re serving. All the churches in our community are the body of Christ. Not every church can be an arm, and not every church can be a leg. So take an inventory of the needs of your community, pray about where God would like you to serve, and see who in your church can help.

Mom events that are only held during the day.

Motherhood is hard. So what better for your church to offer than a support group of like-minded women who are also trying their best to navigate the challenges of being mothers? But the problem is that working moms are often excluded from these groups.

A weekday morning might work best for most moms participating, but your church needs to find a way to meet the working moms where they are. You could offer two different gathering times, one of which includes after work hours. Additionally, you could consider doing something for moms once a month (childcare provided).  We need to support each other as we raise God-seeking families.

Going to church is more than going on Sunday for worship. The church is a place where you can find community and gather with like-minded people to fellowship and build relationships. However, some church activities have passed their time, but we continue to participate. It could be because we’re comfortable, and if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, sometimes you have to let go for the church to grow.

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