Simplified, Not Simplistic

by Jeff Brodie

I’ve likely never met the families in your ministry, but here’s what I know, they feel that life is complicated. On top of that, they feel their lives are bombarded with information. I’ve likely never met the staff at your church, but here’s what I know, they feel church life is complicated and overloaded with information to communicate.

So what does that say to us as leaders and communicators? Is our role to contribute more emails and handouts, add more points to our message, vision cast for more programs? Or is our job to be simplifiers? Not to make God’s truth about our lives and our church community simplistic, but simple.

Simplistic is watered down and condescending, like the high school teacher who spoke to you like you were in kindergarten. Simple is profound and cuts through the complication, like walking your daughter down the aisle, having coffee with a best friend, or hearing your child pray for the first time. Communicating God’s truth and His vision for your church in a simplified way is like a light, a compass, a map in a forest of complication and information.

How do you communicate in a way that’s simple without being simplistic?

1. Hard work. Anyone who’s given or seen a complex, boring sermon knows being simple is hard work, being complicated is much easier. Saying five things is always easier than saying one thing well.

2. Why before what. Know why you’re saying what you’re saying. Is this application of scripture, or this direction in your ministry relevant to where people are at in their lives?

3. Clarity is key. Remember that how you say what you say is as important as what you say. Is what you’re saying focused, clear, and memorable with an unmistakable ask for action?

4. Rinse and repeat. Leverage every opportunity possible to repeat the concept. Rarely do people remember a concept or truth after hearing it the first time. Keep repeating it until you hear people saying it back to you.

What helps you to keep your communication simple, but not simplistic? What questions do you ask yourself to help you stay focused in your messaging?