Have you seen the dashboard in a new car? Recently, I sat in a brand-new vehicle with what looked like the cockpit of an airplane. The person explaining it to me was very excited. According to him this car could:
- Connect to my phone and all the contacts I have
- Play my music, connect to iTunes, Spotify, or stream from any other music provider
- With just a few spoken words I could have a map on the screen that would navigate me to anyplace in the country
- Find gas stations, grocery stores, see the weather forecast, and so much more
I looked at it all and had two simultaneous reactions. One thought I had was, “this is awesome!” Very impressive! Very cutting edge! I need this! Well, I don’t need it… but it certainly was selling itself to me as something I clearly wanted.
But I also had another reaction. As cool as it was, it was a little paralyzing. I wanted it, but it was so complicated. I was mesmerized by what can be. The more he talked, the more complex it appeared to be, and the stupider I felt. I understood it but I didn’t know what to do.
Complexity kills, doesn’t it?
This complexity is so evident to leaders who are longing to establish a multiplying culture for their church. The vision is strong: to multiply the efforts to reach people and to create vibrant ministry, with exponential results. The dashboard is so awesome! Lots of lights, lots of features. But, what do we do? It can feel so overwhelmingly complicated that multiplication stays in the vision stage. It becomes more of a dream than a reality. Why?
But don’t worry, there is hope. As Winston Churchill said, “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicity emerges.”
A multiplying culture requires alignment among values, narrative, and behavioral patterns. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is. Not easy – but simple.
There is hope for simplicity, but it is found through hard work in the midst of complexity.
For now, let me give you two steps to take:
- Meet with your leadership team and prayerfully answer the following question: “What is most important for us RIGHT NOW?” Out of urgency and focus comes clarity and intensity. Make a list of these values and begin to wrestle with what it looks like to align narrative and behavior around this priority.
- Learn from others and from your own mistakes. The challenge is not in figuring out what to do, it is learning HOW to do it in your context. The manual can be read. There are so many books and conferences that are effective. But how do you create alignment in your setting, with your people? Often, this looks like assessing your current reality with a clear picture of where you want to go. At the risk of sounding self-serving, we travel to many different settings every year to assess and help Pastors and leaders learn how to align their context with a multiplying culture. We’d love to help you!
As I get into my car I am still a little overwhelmed at the new technology. The dashboard is still complicated. So far, I have had two different sessions to slowly but surely teach me how to make it simple. I sure hope I don’t get in an accident while I figure it out!
Need some ideas on how to tame complexity in your setting?
Our Highly Successful Process – Customized for You and Your Context – Helps You Build Teams That Execute Change
Let me know your thoughts on creating a multiplying culture, below, and I’ll join in on the conversation.