Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There Is No Try

Yeah I meant that title as if Yoda would have said it from Star Wars. As in:

Do, or do not. There is no try.

I find this to be especially true in ministry settings. If you're just going to attempt to do something, you are better off not doing it. Don't confuse this with me being against failure at trying out something new. I'm talking about the attitude that comes with "trying."

Just "trying" to do something means you're not giving it the best effort. You're not really "doing" it. You're just "trying" to do it. And you can't do that. You're either going to do it, or you're not.

If you're going to just "try" to pull off a new program or ministry at a church without giving it the proper funding, attention and leadership, pull the plug before people get invested and disenfranchised by it. Because once they get disenfranchised with that program, they're not going to want to try helping with it again once you realize the error of what you did the first time--or first three times.

And now you've lost them giving you the benefit of the doubt in other areas. Welcome to a land of unending skepticism.

If you're going to just "try" to be hip & trendy with some of the copy you use in your print and digital media, don't bother. People will see through that nonsense immediately and very few will think you're awesome for putting a term that was "trendy" 15 years ago in a program description to try to show how "with it" you are. See what I did there?

If you're going to just "try" to be transparent and authentic with people, they'll sniff you out immediately. Nothing smells worse than a fake. And people already have their fake-dar going on full strength at churches in the first place. If you can be real, do it! If you can't, don't tout your faux "realness," because nobody is buying what you're selling.

If you're going to just "try" to have authentic community, kill it now. The opportunity cost of people missing out on real relationships with others, fostering friendships and actually growing in their faith is far too large to be dinking around with. If you can't do it, get someone who can. Go at it full steam.

Have you seen this sort of thing in churches or ministries before?

Has it rubbed you the same way it has obviously rubbed me?

What glaring areas am I missing from up there?