The skill of organization and time management can go unappreciated and overlooked until it is exposed when the project or event rolls around. Poor planning and lack of strategy can cripple and damage an otherwise quality idea. Despite how incredible the idea is at its birth, the true mark of the idea is seen in its growth and ultimately its fruition.
This is true in many arenas, but for some reason is always present in the church.
Potential reasons why this is the case.
The church fights against the model of a business but as a result falls short when it comes to productivity, quality, and success.
The first reason could be that we have a lack of motivation compared to a for-profit business. This definitely should not be our attitude, but it could be that the church thinks that there is a larger margin of error. I do not think this would ever be articulated. The typical responses would be something along the lines of the motivation that drives the church is Christ. We work as if we are working for Christ. Then, when you enter into the decision process and actions of the church you find poor planning and poor strategy. We are simply the church, not a business someone else might conclude. Therefore the conclusion is we do not nee to act that way. What way I suggest? The way that promotes productivity and success? I would suggest this isn’t a business model but a Christ centered model. Some might say that whether we start exactly on time is not a major concern. Whether we have all the details figured out is hardly something to worry about. The major needs are taken care of and the rest will fall in place. The attitude we as the church bring to organization and allocation of resources is just not as detailed. Whether we use double sided tape when putting up posters or slap blue tape all over the wall. Does it matter? The poster advertising our Jesus event is up—right? This attitude brings down the quality of our end product and reflects on our faith. We are the church. We are a representation of Christ and in all we do, and we do it to the gory of God. This ranges from putting up posters, to the table clothes we lay out, to the time we arrive to the office in the morning, to the last detail. Before you can reverse the “ready, fire, aim” approach we need to check our attitudes. Are we truly seeking to work for the glory of God or thinking our average work is good enough.
Another reason we follow the ready, fire, aim model is that we just don’t have the quality of people and the equipment at our disposal to execute proper planning.
Outside the church people are paid to produce quality, but inside the church most of us our volunteering our time and as a result we are limited in our resources. We tithe, but that doesn’t mean we have unlimited money to continually upgrade equipment or pay people for the work that they do. Most of the activities in churches are done on the backs of volunteers. They get tired and they have the attitude we talked about earlier. This work is “good enough”. I am not getting paid. The expectations on me aren’t the same as if I was getting paid. I am not condemning volunteers in the church. God designed the church to be involved in all areas of work. This is Gods plan. The unity of the church. The functions of different gifts. All working together to display the glory of God through his bride. I don’t condemn the acts of the volunteers, but simply point to it as a result of the ready, fire, aim mentality. We simply don’t have the resources to better plan and prepare. The attitude of simply providing anything leads to an excuse towards the lack of resources. We aren’t able to do (blank) because we don’t have (blank). I cannot accomplish (blank) because I am busy doing (blank).
Lack of Thinking
In the church we just don’t think. Period. Spontaneity is a buzz word that is looked on as a positive trait, and details and specifics are the negative to a know it all with a stick riding him all day long he cannot stop to enjoy life.
These are both legitimate responses to the problem, but beyond our attitude and lack of resources, I believe this mentality stems from a lack of thinking. We do not put in the effort to think and have forethought on what needs to be accomplished and how to best accomplish that. In that explanation is a lack of vision, and a lack or inability to manage your time. The planners and detail oriented people are often looked down as those who cannot enjoy life because they are too busy telling us what’s wrong with the way we live and how wasteful we are. I recognize the balance, but the carefree attitude can lead to a careless attitude that manifests itself in other areas of life beyond project planning.
For further reflection, there will be a part 2 to this post where we will take a detailed look into time management and how to choose what to do with your time.