As a consultant, I spent a lot studying churches to see what works and what doesn’t – and why.

I have seen tremendous amounts of energy wasted focused on the “what” over the “why.”  Someone has an idea, and minds go into motion. A frenzy of meetings occur to figure out how to make the idea happen – who will champion it, where will the  volunteer team and budget come from, how will we get the congregations excited about it, etc….

Here’s the deal… I love new ideas. I am action-oriented. I am often the one who says “we’ll never know until we try” when it gets to that point in the meeting. However, I have learned the hard way that sometimes an idea is better off just staying an idea.

Some questions to ask:

1. What makes it more important than where energy is currently being directed (ie will this idea pull focus and resources away from something more important)?

2. What won’t be able to happen if this idea or event moves forward?

3. Will the effort to make this idea a reality kill your team – or their morale?

4. Is this idea something that points people towards God in some way, or is it merely something “cool?”

“How you discover what problems need to be solved is just as important as how you develop solutions for them. It takes just as much time, effort, money and people to solve the wrong problem as it does the right problem.” – John Allspaw

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