November 25, 2017

Simple v. Easy

Church leaders, as all leaders do, are known for simplifying tasks, opportunities and challenges. I do this all the time and I've watched as people roll their eyes, mumble to the person next to them or listened to the brave one's that approach me after a meeting to say that something is not as simple as I made it sound.

I empathize with the annoyance and frustration of individuals that express this. But I typically stick to my conviction about the simplicity of a problem or possibility. You see, there is a difference between simple and easy. Those that don't like the simple answer confuse simple and easy. Just because something is simple does not make it easy.

For example, a simple solution to the challenge many congregations face in church attendance is invitation. If church members would make a regular practice of inviting those they love and care about to join them at church, more people would attend. Yet this is perceived as hard to do, awkward, embarrassing, not politically correct ... name your excuse. It's not easy. It's hard to do for many that have never made it a habit. But the solution is simple.

The hard work will be in overcoming bad habits and in learning new habits. In learning from mistakes and, yes, embarrassment. In having the hard conversations about church life that new members bring about. That is the hard work. But it's not complicated. It's simple, not easy.

When you hear a leader offer solutions that seem simple, ask yourself if your opposition is to the difficulty or the complexity.

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