Re-Post: Simple Works: Things I Learned On Vacation Pt.1

28 12 2011

Through January 1st of 2012 I’d like to “Re:Post” one blog a day from each month of 2011. Maybe it’s a highly viewed blog, a favorite of mine or one that impacted me the most. Enjoy this one from July:

“Churches could learn a lot from this!”  That’s what my wife said to me while standing in line at In & Out Burger in Las Vegas last week while we were on vacation.  Now I gotta admit, I usually have my church / leadership radar always on and am usually the one making church related comments when I’m supposed to be “unplugged” from church.  But this time she did.
It was getting close to midnight, we had rented a car and taken the whole day to drive down to the Grand Canyon.  We just pulled back into town and were craving what we HEARD was some of the best burgers on the planet.  We were tired and hungry when she said “Churches could learn a lot from this!”  I said “What?”  Her reply was “Simple works!”  I still wasn’t catching on so I asked “What do you mean?”  That’s when she pointed out the menu sign.
Now, I happened to be staring at it wondering how my cheeseburger would taste, and totally spaced the “simpleness” of the menu.  She said “They offer 4 things.  Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Fries and a drink.  Simple works!”  Much to my surprise she then continued “If someone wants a chicken sandwhich, chicken nuggets, a salad, yogurt parfait, or whatever…’I’m sorry we have hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries.’”  AND IT WORKS!  In & Out is one of the most popular burger joints in America.
(Interesting enough I found out while we were there that they have an “insiders” menu.  It’s called the “not so secret menu”.  If you are an In & Out aficionado you know they offer a few other things.  Such as Animal Fries, which looked DELICIOUS.  Also double or triple meat burgers.  But STILL, hamburger, cheeseburger, fries and drinks.  THAT’S IT)
We have a similar philosophy at Element Church.  We are NOT going to do all things for all people.  We are going to choose to do a few things with excellence instead of many things very average.  In fact, when a church, restaurant, business or organization tries to do all things for all people they usually end up doing nothing very well.
At Element Church we do four things.  Worship experience, student ministries, community (groups), and outreach.  We say YES to those things and NO to everything else.  Let me make clear, this is not THE way to do ministry, but it is THE way we do it.  We don’t have the ONLY way to do church, but this is the ONLY way we do it.
Keepin’ it simple,
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