I try to avoid checking out all the latest tech products (especially Smartphones) as I find it encourages a consumerist mindset in myself. However, I do find MKBHD‘s smartphones to be useful in helping me make an informed purchasing decision. That’s why I found myself watching his recent OnePlus 6 review where he dropped a truth bomb that I believe has a lot of value for church tech. Take a look [watch until 1:30 or so]
[Video via YouTube]
The Law of Diminishing Returns
In case you didn’t watch let me summarise the point. At the start, we see massive improvements for not that much more time, money or effort. After a certain point, we see significantly less benefit for our investment which eventually becomes unnoticeable. Here’s a picture to show it in another way.
I’ve seen this chart used in different areas and tried to apply it to some of my productivity mindset (sure, I could spend a lot more time working out how to be MORE productive, but it would only save me a tiny amount of time, and it would take me more time to work it out). But the more relevant part of this video is for how we spend money as churches.
Aim for the tipping point.
It’s great to aim for that tipping point, the line where we stop seeing those massive returns. The point where it changes to requiring a significant extra investment to see a tiny benefit. For most churches, this means not over-investing in a few pieces of tech OR ministries. Instead, it’s better to identify that tipping point, and aim for there. There may well be some more money left over which can start up a whole new project.
But shouldn’t we strive for excellence?
There’s a reason that I’ve used “most churches” because there are also churches who aren’t typical; who have 10 times bigger budgets or who have the team who can really get much more out of certain tools. Plus sometimes we do crazy things for God because He calls us to do so. He loves to show us how His foolishness is better than our intelligence.
Still, He gave us common sense and often uses that. And I don’t know about you, but when one member of a church says that God has told them that a large number of funds should be spent on their pet project, yet no one else in the church has heard God say that… I need more convincing.
I’m not saying this is a hard and fast rule, but I do think it is a useful tool and perspective for us to evaluate our decision. I do also enjoy the irony of a YouTuber who uses one of the world’s most expensive and premium cameras to record YouTube videos — funny and ironic.
But what do you think? Do you consider diminishing returns at your church (or personally)?