Scheduling Chaos

Have you ever experienced or seen footage of what it’s like to drive in some parts of India?  Watch this:

You can’t deny people are getting where they need to go, but really?!  It’s clearly a case of “every man for himself.”  Having some basic rules of the road doesn’t eliminate accidents, but at least creates a flow that is easier to navigate and understand…if everyone knows and follows the rules.

As a church—as we continue to reach a greater number of people—we will continue to grow, and with growth comes change.  This means moving from systems that feel like driving without rules to a place where every intersection has the same set of rules.  I have an inward anxiety about growth, because it means constantly improving and tweaking systems keeping them simple and easy for everyone to follow.  My anxiety is always trumped by the knowledge that God is leading and pushing Richwoods into a new season of impact.  This past weekend’s sermon challenged each of us to respond to this new season of impact with three actions:

  1. Buy in, or move on
  2. Pray for the church
  3. Participate and contribute

One of the areas of change we needed to address was scheduling for the weekend ministries.  In the past each ministry had it’s own scheduling system and set of rules, which works for a small church, but it generates a scheduling labyrinth for volunteers and staff.  In conversations with leaders from churches our size and larger, and with some coaching from the UnStuck Group, we discovered our current style of scheduling is holding us back.

We did some math and discovered we have enough volunteers already engaged to fulfill our ministry needs at present, but our style of scheduling is so complicated we come up short each weekend.  I realized that some of our staff were spending half of their time each week trying to figure out scheduling, when what the ministry needed most was encouragement, coaching, and vision. We needed to get unstuck and out of the chaos.

After talking with several volunteers and half a dozen other churches to get input, we decided to adapt the same scheduling format across many of our ministries moving to a Month On / Month Off rotation placing each volunteer on a team and scheduled to a service time.

Month On / Month Off scheduling will make it easier for everyone to understand, easier to find a substitute, easier to be involved in other ministries, easier to train new volunteers, easier to add new volunteers, easier to build launch teams for future campuses, and easier to step out of a volunteer role. But change is never easy.

Change always takes some time to adjust to, but I would ask that if your ministry is a part of this change that you would “buy into it” for the future health of Richwoods.  There will never be a perfect solution to scheduling, because as individuals we all have different needs.  But if we all commit to a similar set of standards and rules, in time we will find a flow that becomes second nature.

Weekend Attendance

Knoxville Campus

Parkway Campus


Weekend Giving

On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2017 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.

Knoxville Campus: $24K
Parkway Campus: $2.8K
Total Giving: $26.8K
Weekly Anticipated Giving: $39.1K

2016 Cash Balance

As a policy we must have at least 2 weeks of average weekly income in our cash balance at all times, currently that figure is $75K.

YTD Giving

Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods.  Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home.  As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.

Year To Date Giving: $1,852,798
Year To Date Anticipated Giving: $1,933,221

If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email.  You can also leave a comment below.


  1. Hi Joel,
    Thanks for the updates and encouragement above. My 9 yr old is excited to have a month on for serving in Kid’s Rock. She LOVES working with the kids back there and has been asking for us to serve more.

    I was wondering how the Raise the Roof initiative turned out? I hadn’t heard.


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