Artie Davis
Artie Davis

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


I heard a phrase on a business radio program that I wasn’t familiar with … “Addition by subtraction.”

It was explained that quite often, an organization or department can add to its effectiveness by actually taking someone off the team (not replacing them). I understand the genius of less is more, but addition by subtraction? … awesome idea!

Here are 3 things you may need to subtract (take away) from your church if it’s not moving…

1. Subtract a Ministry. Too many ministries and not any operating at full capacity is dangerous. We need to systematically measure the success of all we do, and subtract those that are sub par.

Not that they aren’t good. We just need to subtract them until we have the energy and resources to do them passionately well.

Which ministry are you going to pray about shelving?

2. Subtract a Meeting. Can I get an Amen?? O yeah, Glory! Unproductive and unnecessary meetings are draining and they kill passion. Only gather together when needed, not necessarily scheduled.

A meeting mentality feeds the need to talk and not do. What regularly scheduled meeting will you reduce or eliminate?

3. Subtract a Member. Yeah, sometimes we just have take someone off the team. That means you have to be willing to make the difficult call. If that one staff, volunteer, leader or whatever isn’t contributing, they are draining! If you don’t subtract them, your team will begin to dwindle.

What member of your team (if any) should you seriously consider subtracting?

Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.

For the original article, visit artiedavis.com.

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • Don't bring your sermons in for a crash landing.

    4 Terrible Ways to Close a Sermon

    People need an opportunity to respond to the Word of God.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders