The More You Do, the Less You Accomplish

I wasn’t around when “I Love Lucy” originally aired but I’m still familiar with this scene:

I wonder if this feels familiar to many ministers and church volunteers?

My wife and I are finishing our second month as co-pastors at our new church, and we are realizing that the people of our church are an ambitious group! They’ve planned and organized to do many different programs, worship services, classes, and other events. There are so many good ideas and traditions here.

In fact, there are too many good ideas and traditions here.

At least too many for the amount of people that we have ready and willing to make them happen.  Our current organizational structure takes about ninety people to run. That also happens to be the number of people we have in church on a typical Sunday.  In a church of our size we aren’t going to get ninety people to commit to be elders, deacons or committee members.

So if we don’t make adjustments, then we are going to be like Lucy and her friend and we aren’t going to be able to do the job we’ve been asked to do. We might be able to keep up appearances for a while, but in the end nobody is going to want the box of chocolates that went through our line.

So how do we improve? How do we make a better box of chocolates?

We slow down. We do less, but we do it better.  We decide what are the most important things that we do, and we commit to doing them with a high level of quality. Even if that means we have to stop doing some of the things we do now.

We won’t be able to pack as many boxes of chocolate, but the ones we do pack, will be ones that we will be proud to offer to anyone and everyone.

3 thoughts on “The More You Do, the Less You Accomplish

  1. This blog reminds me of the church I visited the second Sunday of this year. It was down to fewer than 30 members all committed to acting like Lucy and Ethel, keeping the line going. Their new pastor, 25 years ago, helped them decide to do one thing well and take a rest on the others. Their one thing was to visit with families visiting prisoners in the prison near them. They learned some things about listening to what people need. A while later, they decided to build a pavilion on a lake near them for summer services with the summer crowd. At the end of that first season when they closed the pavilion, the folks at the lake started finding their way to the church. Now, all these years later the church has more than 200 members because they have figured out how to be church that serves the community where they are and their chocolates taste terrific. Miss you guys.

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