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This summer at Altitude (middle school ministry), we’re taking a break from our regular Wednesday night corporate worship service. Instead, we’ll be doing weekly small groups at off-site host homes. Because of this, Wednesday night was our last corporate service for the next 3 months. On my way to the church, I was hit with a question: “Will our students miss this service?” Or, “Is it missable?” I think that 3-word question is one that can be used to evaluate most organizational programs.

“Is it missable?” Is the program valued by the majority of those who participate in it enough that they would genuinely miss it if it were suddenly taken away? If the answer is yes, my next question would be “Why?” The purpose of this second question is to be sure that the things participants value align with the things the program is intended to create. Sometimes programs are loved by participants, but not for the reasons the organization may desire. For instance, many church programs may be valued for their social opportunies when their purpose is much deeper than that. In this the case, the program is missable for the wrong reasons and should be reassessed.

If the answer to the initial question is “No, the program is not missable“, the follow-up question should be “Is the program necessary to fulfilling a part of the mission of the organization?” If it is necessary, it should be evaluated for ways to make it missable or other ways to fulfill that part of the mission should be considered as a replacement program. If the program is not necessary, cutting it should obviously be seriously considered.

This way of assessing programs considers both the mission of the organization and the how well it is valued by participants. It is important to assess programs from both perspective: top-down (organizational perspective) and bottom-up (participant perspective).

 

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