The original garage door was introduced in 1902. It gained popularity over the next two decades and by 1935 garage doors were a must-have for middle class and affluent homeowners. For over a decade, people drove home from work, pulled their car into their garage, walked to the mailbox, said hello to neighbors and pushed the garage door close. In the late 1940’s this all changed as the world was introduced to the electric garage door opener. The ease of pushing a button and closing out the rest of the world was too much of a temptation. The convenience of the invention eliminated the possibility of community.
I love systems. As the Children’s Director for a giga church ministering to over 6,000 kids weekly, I was always looking for ways to streamline our processes and make us more efficient. Oftentimes I would be forced to take a step back and ask myself, “Am I sacrificing effectiveness for efficiency? Am I increasing our productivity at the risk of community?” I can’t tell you how many times I introduced a new system just to remove it one month later. Ministry is showing love and meeting needs. If I create a system or streamline a process and it results in the elimination of relationship, I’ve missed the mark.
So ask yourself, what process, program, or handout have you created that increases the efficiency of your ministry but kills its effectiveness? People need to experience community. They need to experience kindness, camaraderie, compassion, worth, and excitement. They need to feel love. More often than not, this is accomplished through personal one-on-one communication.
My challenge for you today is to take a quick look at your ministry. Identify your ‘garage door openers’ and make a plan to remove them. Choose effectiveness over efficiency, community over expediency.
I’d love to hear from you. What ‘garage door openers’ are you working to remove from your ministry?