Get It On Paper

If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen.

I’m learning this as a leader and as a preacher.

A great failure of leadership is lack of clarity in expectations. I know this is true because there have been plenty of times in leading this team at Good Shepherd that my expectations were murky at best. And when people don’t know what you expect from them the result is often Judges 17:6: “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

People’s intentions are good, but because of a lack of direction, chaos reigns.

So we’ve recently gotten much better at putting expectations down on paper (actually, we type them into a computer and it somehow prints them out on paper). Expectations that can be quantified, verified, and modified. Kentucky fried, even.

If that sounds more like “business” than “church,” so be it.

Because people respond. Since it is on paper, it happens.

If you are leading people, get it on paper.

When it comes to preaching, I have a lot of good ideas throughout any given day. There are a myriad of sermons embedded in the things I read in a novel or see in a TV ad or hear in a conversation.

But if I do not follow that moment of inspiration — “hey, that will preach!” — by writing it down somewhere, then the idea gets lost. And that is frustrating — to know you had a good idea for a sermon or an entire series but you lost it.

The answer? Get it on paper. If you want to be at all creative, you’ve got to write everything down.

Two seemingly disparate activities: leadership & creativity. To be effective at either, get it on paper.