Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making a List...and Checking it Twice

What's on your church "to-do" list?

More importantly, what's on your "stop doing" list?

Jim Collins, author of two very important books (Built to Last, Good to Great) recently spoke at Catalyst 2008. As usual, his presentation was fast-paced, full of stories, and had lots of application to churches. In the middle of his talk, he threw out the following statement: For every item on your to-do list, you should also put something on your stop-doing list. He spoke to that briefly, and then contined on.

That statement stuck with me, and has been bouncing around in my brain ever since. The rest of the week, I want to think about this in terms of some resources I've been working with and this statement, and encourage you to think about them as well.

I start with a great book - Simple Church, by Thom Rainer and Eric Granger. The book has been out over a year, and is still making waves in churches across the country. It's based on case studies of over four hundred churches and attempts (and succeeds) in demonstrating that the process of making disciples is often too complex. Simple churches thrive by taking four concepts to heart.

Clarity > Movement > Alignment > Focus

Ephesians 4:11-12 refers to the "work of ministry" as "building up the body of Christ. As a ministry leader, you are in the building business! I can really relate to that, because I am in the building business - I want to help church leaders build their church - sometimes I even use bricks and steel. But that's another topic!

Constructing lives, building people, developing disciples - whatever words you use, that's what we are about. The process of doing just that can often become complicated and lead to stuck people on a path to...nowhere. The first step to a simple church is Clarity.
Clarity is the ability of the process to be communicated and understood by the people. Understanding always precedes commitment. When there is no direction, people assume a direction or invent one. Simple churches have a crystal-clear process. They work hard to ensure everyone grasps it. Simple church leaders know their church's vision and are able to articulate it to others with conviction. They are able to do so because they own the process.

How is the clarity of your ministry blueprint, your plan for making disciples?

No comments: