Less Clutter, Less Noise: 2) Is it always better to have more choices?
If you know me, you know I love Chipotle. Whether in Philadelphia or Pueblo, CO the beauty of Chipotle’s menu is its simplicity and dependability. I usually get the same thing, Chicken Soft Tacos with black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and lettuce…and don’t forget the chips & guac with a Diet Coke. It’s been that way for years – and I don’t see it changing any time soon. What I love is that Chipotle has done a masterful job of dumbing the menu down for me – helping me with my menu choices instead of offering me too much which could leave me disappointed and not wanting to come back another time. Chipotle provides minimal choices that they do outstandingly well. Even if I (God forbid) changed my mind and ordered a carnitas burrito with extra cheese, I know I would be getting quality at a good price.
As I have been thinking about today’s blog, I am struck by the importance of the points Kem Meyer makes in the second chapter of Less Clutter, Less Noise. How often do we in church leadership feel the need the compulsion to let everyone know everything we do in hopes that everyone will get involved in every area of the church and live as one happy, harmonious family? (Read that again to feel the weight of that sentence) And what’s the disastrous result? Too much clutter, too much noise. Kem says, “Life is overwhelming enough as it is. Your church or organization shouldn’t be piling more on top of an already mounting problem, especially when people are looking for answers that will make a difference.” So ask yourself, what is my mission at my job? To confuse and frustrate people? Definitely not. I hope you resonate with the mission statement that we hold close to our vest in the Communications Department at Christ Community Church, “Remove barriers that keep people from experiencing all of Jesus.”
We have worked hard to create environments and experiences that are honoring to our congregation and that take their needs into consideration first…not the other way around. This has not happened over night. It has been a conscious effort to view our ministry from the eyes of the consumer. Kem is a genius at this type of strategy that puts the value on the person and their experience rather than simply puffing up the organization. Kem also believes that at the end of the day, having choices is not a bad thing. The disservice we do to our audience is not presenting those choices in appropriate and honoring ways that produce satisfied customers (that are connected to Jesus).
When was the last time you viewed your communications pieces with the eyes of your audience? Are you overwhelmed with disappointment that you don’t know where to begin or what are the logical next steps? In one of Seth Godin’s recent blogs, he also points out a pitfall to too much communication, “Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention. More clutter isn’t free. In fact, more clutter is a permanent shift, a desensitization to all the information, not just the last bit. And it’s hard to go backward. More is not always better. In fact, more is almost never better.”
So don’t be afraid to cut, trim, take out, take away, reduce, edit, simplify, and even eliminate (did I just say that?) and then repeat steps where necessary.
Questions to consider:
- Where do I need to cut, trim the fat, and edit so the most important is truly “most important”?
- Where am I (or what I am producing is) getting in the way of people experiencing the fullness of Jesus?