It’s the Process Stupid

As I write this post I am sitting at home on the couch watching a NOVA program on OETA about the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble has captured some of the most incredible images of space and has vastly increased our knowledge about the universe. This program deals with the repair mission that took place several years ago. It took thousands of people years to prepare for a mission that entailed six. 6.5 hour space walks. They were doing repairs that no one has ever done before. Every motion that took place on this mission was choreographed. New tools had to be invented and developed to even make this mission possible.

I am watching this and thinking about the mission of the church and what takes place during the week. I am a total list guy. I sit down several times each week to write down the tasks that I need to accomplish that day, that week and that month. I use programs like Things and Action Method to help me chart these tasks, delegate them to others, and keep a record of the tasks that I frequently have to do. A few times a year I will sit down to make a detailed record of the steps that I go through each week so that I can really see not just the tasks, but each step that goes into each task and how much time goes into each.

Too many times we approach Sunday morning and church work without thinking about the processes that are taking place. Many times we are just trying to get through the morning without dealing with a missing volunteer or encountering a technology problem. The arts and worship team spend time working on execution and everybody knows if the person running the words on the screen is behind. Those are jobs that are right in front of us. But how many important tasks get left out of the process or are entirely absent because we haven’t set down to map out what we want to happen on Sunday morning? I am not just talking about making sure there is someone greeting people at the door, but making sure that everything that greeter does helps accomplish your mission.

How many connections are missed because there was no one actively thinking, “it’s my job to shake that guys hand”? How do you know that you are not wasting volunteer hours each week doing things that have little to no impact in your mission? How is everything that is happening at your church contributing to your mission?

Can you even imagine sitting down with your team to write out every detail that takes place within your church? The Hubble team not only scripts out every task, but exactly how each tasks should be performed. Analyzing each step shows them how to shave hours off of each space walk and ensures success. Do you need to develop new tools to make better connections with visitors on Sunday mornings? Do you need to develop new tools in order to help people develop in Christ?

Mastering the process will give you the freedom and time to make deeper connections with the people that matter most to your mission.