Clear and simple pathways

By Mike Klockenbrink

Have you gone out hiking, or for a walk, in your own neighborhood? Many walking paths have exceptional signage – they tell you where the path is and where it’s going. After a while you get to know these paths and you want to try different paths – the ones less travelled. Then, one day, you decide that you want to create your own path – the one that has never seen the footprint of man. Look at you – exciting and adventurous. You’ve created your own path.

So, are you going to keep this newfound path a secret, or would you share it with others? There’s something to be said about this newfound trail you’ve just blazed. If you share it with everyone, it will no longer have the same mystique.  But, you can’t hold back any longer. You have to let everyone know.

This is where we usually run into problems. You’ve ventured into a path and, one to two hours into the hike, you ask yourself, “Where is this path going?” “How much farther?” “Should I turn around now?” Then, you decide to turn around and head back. You tell a friend, who had been on this path, how far you made it. And, of course, he tells you that if you had just gone another quarter mile around the bend you would have seen this amazing … whatever. Oh, and there’s this little shortcut back to start.

This isn’t just about asking for directions or how to read a map. It’s about clear and simple instructions or communication about the path itself.

Too many times we want our staff or church body to go on an adventure with us down a new path. Sure, we know the path we’re on – we’ve been travelling it for the past six months. There are individuals who want to jump on the path just because you said so. Most people want to know how to get on the path; how long it is; where it will take them; and how to get off.

If you want to keep those new paths you’re blazing less travelled, don’t let anyone know about them. If you want to engage people to join you in this journey, make sure you have clear and simple pathways for them.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder.


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