Determining whether something needs a Reboot

I don’t know if you’ve seen the television lately but there been a series of reboots of old TV shows that are now coming back. One of them is 24 Legacy and another one is Prison Break. These were once very popular shows that saw a slow decline which is why they were cancelled at one point.

What do TV reboots have to do with ministry reboots?

But now they are back. Whether it was because there was a legitimate demand for their return or nostalgia, there seems to be some new excitement and life back into these series. And these shows are just the only 2. In the past few years old shows such as Full House, X-Files and Gilmore Girls have all made reboots.

So how do these TV reboots apply to ministry? Simple, actually. Maybe it is time to reboot something old that you used to do. Think about it for a second, is there something in your ministry that you don’t do anymore that could use a reboot?

Years ago we used to do an after school event with teens called PS2uesdays. Basically we got together and played Playstation games. It was really cool…for a time, but then it got old and we decided to cancel it. However, after it was gone for a period of time we rebooted it and brought it back. However, we called it Xbox Wednesday.

Now the reality is whatever you are thinking of rebooting was canceled for a reason. That is why you have to think long and hard about why you would rebooted it. So here are some 3 questions to ask when you are looking at something to reboot in your ministry:

  1. Why? Why do you want to reboot it? Is there a demand for it? Are people asking about it? Or, are they asking about something currently that this ministry activity accomplished back in the day?
  2. What you would change? As I mentioned earlier, this ministry activity was canceled for a reason. In order to make it better, you have to figure out how you can change it to make it better so that it comes back with a vengeance.
  3. Is there another opportunity? Rebooting a particular activity sounds good and there will probably be some nostalgia about it, but is there something different or better than you can do instead? Do you really need to reboot something old or could you create something new and fresh?

Rebooting an old program may sound like a lot of fun, especially for the students or leaders who loved it to begin with. But if you want you reboot to be very successful…successful like Batman Begins did to the Batman franchise, you have to ask tough questions and really process it through before you pull the trigger. Otherwise, you might have a “Superman Returns” type reboot on your hands.

Over the years I have found that rebooting something old can be great. But use wisdom and make sure you don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgement.

What do you think? What has been your experience with rebooting an old program? Share them and your experiences below or on social media use my twitter handle @tapounder when you share. 

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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