3 Reasons you shouldn’t publicly cancel an event…

cancelChurch ministries are notorious for spending more publicity energy getting the word out about the cancellation of a meeting or event than they did about the fact that it was happening in the first place.

I’m not against cancellations – in fact, sometimes, they are welcomed.  It’s an unplanned free evening – and there isn’t enough time to plan something else.  I count those times blessings. If it’s related to weather, power outage or other uncontrollable thing,  then it also allows some time to connect with people, spread the word and be “together” in community during this crisis – no matter how large or small.

What I’m talking about in this post are the smaller things that a leader plans – meetings, gatherings, etc.  It’s ok to cancel if needed, just don’t make it a big deal. If you are cancelling due to lack of interest, then you shouldn’t even need to make it public since no one is going to show up anyway.

I have lived by the philosophy that you don’t cancel and in the rare cases that you do, you don’t publicize.  Let’s say you call a meeting of your leaders – and you hear from two or three that they can’t make it.  If it’s a small group, you call the others to find out about their availability.  If you have issued a blanket invitation through publications and website, then you or some one from your team should be there – if for no other reason to intercept anyone who may come and let them know that we are so glad they were interested but we have to reschedule and to visit with them.

Here are three why you shouldn’t publicly cancel an event:

Cancelling an event you scheduled undermines you – If you have sent letters to your leaders and the people that need to be at the meeting and you are able to meet, then you should go through at planned no matter who comes.  If no one arrives, then that’s ok – no one knows but you. If you make a habit of calling meetings and then cancelling them due to small reasons, you will find it difficult to schedule meetings in the future.

Cancelling an event you scheduled undermines those who planned to attend and were committed to attending – There are some who planned to attend. This was their day and their opportunity. To call it off because “no one could make it” doesn’t leave them feeling valued.  In fact, sometimes, the best conversations happen on evenings when there was supposed to be a large group and only two showed up.

Cancelling an event you scheduled gives control to those who weren’t able to attend – You are now working around their busy schedules. If you begin to try and “work around” everyone’s schedule, you will go absolutely insane.  In fact, sticking with important scheduled meetings is the best way to ensure people will do their best to attend.  Of course, you need to do your part to make sure that the content, purpose and organization is high quality so that people can trust you to lead them and it isn’t a waste of time.

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