“I can’t believe 2011 is almost over!”
I haven’t yet heard anyone say this, thank God. I’m not a big fan of people expressing amazement over the most obvious things, and yet I do admit that time does fly, especially the midst of ministry.
My church is one of the fastest moving churches you’ll ever see. We will never be accused of laziness or failure to act. In fact, we might actually act too fast. We start projects, get them to a point of basic usability, and then move on.
Case in point: our sanctuary sound booth.
We gained legal occupancy of our sanctuary in early 2006—previously, we were holding services in our gym. However, the sound booth wasn’t ready for the move. We had not yet purchased or installed cabinets or counters for our equipment. Not wanting to wait another week to use the sanctuary, we brought in some folding tables, set all of the equipment up, and “promised” ourselves that we would get cabinets later that week. The above picture was taken this week—in December 2011!
There are other projects like that at my church, but I’m not trying to criticize my brothers and sisters at my local church because I know that we’re not alone in the greater Church—and because there are projects at my house that I’ve let go for years. Many churches struggle with getting things done the first time around and need to adopt the “Done Manifesto.”
How do fight this trend of leaving things undone?
I have three basic suggestions.
- Step back: If you’re in charge of or heavily involved in a project, you might miss some fairly obvious gaps because you’re too close. Step back and get some outside perspectives.
- Look back: Why did you undertake this project in the first place? What problem or situation caused your church to make changes? Keeping this in mind could be an important part of avoiding the creation of new problems that result in leaving things undone.
- Go back: Maybe I should have listed this first, but we would all probably benefit from going back to all of our currently undone projects and finishing them off before starting anything new. In fact, make a commitment with or as the leadership that no new projects should be started until everything else is “done.”
Do you agree?
Does your church have some projects that have remained undone for far too long?
Or has your church found ways to prevent such tragedies?