Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Keep It Simple

Last Sunday night at our monthly Leadership Summit we focused on the need to keep church simple. The human tendency is to complicate things. Here are five keys to keeping things at church simple. The acronym we used was C.L.E.A.R. Things will be simple if they are clear:

  • Connect The Dots: One of the chief reasons things look scattered, busy, and confusing is that people don't know why we do what we do. Really our church only does a few things that help us make God Treasuring Disciples. But we sometimes get tired of calling our program or event by the same old name, so we change it up. And things begin to look scattered even if they are aimed at accomplishing the same things. Show how you get from your event to its purpose. Make the purpose of your program transparent even if the name is creative.
  • Less is more: One cause of complexity is that we try to do too many things. If we try a little harder, do a little more, try everything, we'll break through. We do this in every area of life, too. Instead, we can ask, "What is absolutely necessary? What can be eliminated?" When we do, we are on the road to simplicity and increased effectiveness.
  • Easy: Those who know me know that I am the last person to advocate laziness. Easy does not equal lazy. It simply means I have thought of the unnecessary things that complicate the issue. Can we do something and make it easy to communicate, easy to understand and easy to use?
  • Aim: This is the target that to which we connect the dots in the earlier step. If we cannot identify what we are trying to do any hope of simplicity breaks down. If you don't know what you are shopping for you won't know what store to go to. If you don't now what store to go to a shopping trip will certainly become a greater challenge. The leadership remedy is simple -- rigorous focus.
  • Relevance: -- This can be common courtesy. Think of others. If something is relevant to us it becomes clearer and less confusing. What can we do to think about our communication from the perspective of the person who receives it? The more we think of others, the simpler we will become.
Here is a copy of the PowerPoint presentation I used that night. I also showed a video about what Microsoft might do with Ipod packaging. You can view the video here. I hope this CLEARs things up!

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