Systems & Processes :: Quality 2

Efficient

Great systems are efficient.  Efficient is being effective (the first quality) without wasting time or effort or expense.  An efficient system gets the desired result with the least amount of wasted time and energy.  When a system is created, by accident or on purpose, it usually isn’t efficient.  Primarily because the people that create them are not experienced enough yet to know what will make the system efficient.

Once the system is created the way to make it more efficient is to use it, evaulate it, and tweak it.  By going through that cycle a few times (or more if necessary), the system will become as efficient as it can possibly be.  At CCC we want all our systems to be efficient.  We want to be wise stewards of our finances, our time, and the gifts that people have that help make CCC what it is. 

Systems & Processes :: Quality 1

Effective

Great systems are effective.  Seems obvious enough, doesn’t it?  But, as I mentioned in the first post about this, some systems happen naturally, without planning – almost by accident.  Most of the time those systems aren’t as effective as they can possibly be, they’re as effective as they needed to be in order to get by. 

Effective systems essentially go unnoticed.  In fact, the credit for how well something works typically goes to other things involved (people, leaders, ideas, products).  In most cases those things are a part of the success, and some of the people probably created the system, but it’s the system itself that has created the success.  Effective systems result in things happening the way you want them to, without having to put a lot of effort into forcing them happen that way. 

It’s not whether your have a system or not, it’s whether you have an effective system or not.  A system always exists, but great ones are effective because they produce the desired result rather than something else that wasn’t planned on. 

Systems & Processes

Systems are an important part of any organization, or organism.  God apparently had a system for creation, and everything He created has systems in it, and around it.  I couldn’t type this if a bunch of the systems in my body weren’t functioning correctly. 

Processes make up a system.  Wikipedia says a process is "a naturally occurring or designed sequence of changes of properties or attributes of an object or system."  Interesting that it notes that it can be naturally occurring or designed

I think creating healthy systems with clear processes is an extremely important but incredibly challenging task for the church.  At CCC we’re working hard at creating and fine tuning our systems across the board.  Currently I’m documenting all the systems we have in Children’s Ministry and what processes support them.  Some were designed, some naturally occurred, but they all need to be at their best. 

I’m a novice at this and creating and fine tuning systems is very difficult for me.  I just know how much I like working within great systems, but creating and managing them is another deal all together.  Over the next week I’ll write about the 4 qualities I think every system needs in order to be great.

Acts 16:5

In my journey through the book of Acts I came across this verse:

"So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers" – Acts 16:5

I would say that this is the specific purpose for which I want to leverage my life.  Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing a church that is dying, dead, or simply ineffective in it’s mission.  It’s obvious the world needs more churches that could be described by that verse.  It was about 4 years ago when I pictured what a church for the unchurched could look like here in Baltimore, MD.  That picture in my mind, along with the realization that I wanted to live my life for that purpose is what has led me to where I am today, working for a church like the one I pictured.  It was a huge answer to prayer and I hope and pray we never stray off course.

In a message called Asking Big, Andy Stanley challenged everyone to pray for something big, something God-sized.  He said God is honored by our persistent asking.  Since I listened to that message I’ve prayed that God will make Baltimore known for strong, healthy churches.   Not because I want attention for Baltimore, or even for churches for that matter.  But because strong, healthy churches make Jesus known, and help people find their way to Him.