Focus is the commitment to abandon everything that falls outside of the simple ministry process. Focus most often means saying “no.” Focus requires saying “yes” to the best and “no” to everything else.
While movement is the most difficult simple church element to understand, focus is also the most difficult element to implement. It takes deep conviction and guts. Focus does not make church leaders popular.
Simple churches have a clearly defined process. The process is designed to move people to higher levels of commitment, and it is implemented in each department of the church so there is alignment. Clarity, movement, and alignment are essential.
But these three elements are ineffective without focus.
Focus is the element that gives power and energy to clarity, movement, and alignment.
Without focus, the church becomes cluttered despite its process. Without focus the process is unrecognizable because so many other programs and events surround it. Without focus, the process is buried somewhere underneath a myriad of special events and activities.
Simple churches abandon all that is outside of the simple process because it threatens to steal attention and energy from what has been determined as necessary. Events, activities, and programs outside the process cause people to move in multiple directions. A lack of focus leads to scattering.
Simple church leaders are focused people. They are not mean, and they don’t necessarily like saying “no.” They are just committed to the simple process that God has given that particular church.
Simple church leaders ask the difficult questions. They want to be sure something will fit neatly in the ministry process before it is implemented. They seek to funnel new ideas into their ministry process instead of beginning new paradigms.
They view everything through the lens of the simple process. They admittedly have blinders on. They are sometimes accused of being narrow-minded. They focus on being simple.
And while focus is necessary, it is not easy. Even after years of establishing a simple ministry process, the focus element will be tested and questioned. Church leaders must have the single-mindedness of the apostle Paul who said, “One thing I do” (Phil. 3:13).
Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)