Clarity is the ability of the process to be communicated and understood by the people. A clear process has ability. It has the ability to be easily communicated and understood. Clarity involves certainty, and it eliminates confusion. For a church to be simple, the process must have a high degree of clarity.
Clarity and simplicity go hand in hand. They are close friends.
A process that has clarity is clearly defined. The leadership and the people know exactly how the church is structured to move people toward spiritual growth. The how is clear. The process (the how) is discussed, taught, and illustrated. And the people get it.
Some churches are not clear on a ministry process because they do not have one. Others have one, but it is too complex. It is too complicated, too long, or too confusing. The process is ineffective because it cannot be understood. Without understanding, commitment wanes.
Understanding always precedes commitment.
If people are to embrace and participate in the ministry process, they must be able to internalize it. To internalize the process, they must first grasp it. Clarity is thus absolutely essential.
Before the process can be clear to the people in the church, it must first be clear to the leaders. This point is where the breakdown most often occurs. Unfortunately, church leaders often stumble through an explanation of a ministry process.
Instead of clarity, there is often stuttering.
If leaders are not clear, the people will not grasp the ministry process. If leaders have a difficult time discussing and teaching the ministry process, it lacks clarity. And if the process lacks clarity, the process is not simple.
A lack of clarity ultimately leads to confusion and complexity because there is no coherent direction. When there is no direction, people assume a direction or invent one. The church then moves aimlessly and off course. And there is no course in which to return.
Simple churches have a course in which to return. They possess a clearly defined process. They are certain about how God has led them to make disciples. Their ministry process is a reflection of this certainty.
To be simple, a church must be clear. Simple churches have a crystal-clear process. They work hard to ensure everyone grasps it. Simple church leaders know their church’s process and are able to articulate it to others with conviction. They are able to do so because they own the process.
Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)