Monday, October 24, 2011

Simplify. Everything.

There comes a point in every ministry at which you need to revisit the things you are doing and clarify why you are doing them. Just to be clear, I'm not talking about why are we doing ministry at all, but rather asking about the nuts and bolts, hands-on methodology of the ministry. If your goal is to help kids grow in their faith, there are dozens of approaches you could take. In the tech world we have the same situation. If I want to provide a way for people to view the message from this past Sunday, I could take several approaches. As I've worked through these choices in various areas of the tech ministry, the theme that emerges is "simplify".

I recently had a conversation about this very thing with a volunteer who has been serving faithfully in tech arts at TBC for a many years. He mentioned that he was enjoying serving more now than ever before because his role was "simpler". Now that doesn't mean he sits around all morning with hardly anything to do. On the contrary, he has a job that keeps him busy from 7:45am to 12:15pm! Here's the difference. We've clarified the purpose of the job and we've removed any extraneous things that don't contribute to that purpose. This provides a focus and a simplicity that results in a better end product.

This idea of simplicity can apply to all areas of ministry. If you take time to define goals, then it becomes easier to see what things don't propel you towards those goals. This is especially helpful in areas that are largely staffed by volunteers. Volunteers are not staff. (Seems obvious right?) They are there to serve for a few hours and its the job of staff to equip them in order make the most of that time. By providing clear goals, a streamlined work environment, and by eliminating distracting responsibilities, staff can exponentially increases the return-on-investment of that volunteers valuable time. It also provides a much better experience for volunteers. I want my volunteers to feel like they've accomplished a goal and not to be frustrated or overwhelmed by having too many responsibilities (or in my world, too much gear to manage).

This process of simplification will look different for everyone but has universal benefits. You'll probably find that you save time and energy and that the quality of your end results improve. Win/win!

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