“The Devil is in the details.” Have you ever said, or thought that? If you’re a big-picture person like me, and the details just seem to bog you down, odds are, you’ve murmured that phrase once or twice (maybe even today). If you’re not a detail-oriented person, it’s real easy to live your life with the mindset of, “God made me to be a big-picture person, so it’s the job of others to pay attention to the details-not mine.” That mentality will get you into trouble, real quickly.
For instance, I have a friend who entrusted all of his financial matters to another individual. My friend never worried about the details of his money until one day, he discovered that the person whom he had entrusted, actually fled the country with all of his money. After loosing his life-savings, my friend will now tell you that the details matter!
The details tell a story, especially when it comes to your church. When a visitor attends your church for the first time, they notice the details: smiling faces, clearly marked signage, positive/encouraging attitudes, volunteers who seem excited about working with children, etc. These things tell a great story-they say, “This church cares about the details so they’ll probably care about me, too.” However, the opposite is true, as well. If a visitor sees litter on the ground, weeds in the flower beds, overflowing trash receptacles, unattended restrooms, etc. they receive a completely different message, loud and clear-that message is, “This church overlooks the details of their facility, so more than likely they will overlook the details of my life, too.” OUCH! It’s true, whether you want to admit it or not, the details tell a story.
If you’re a big-picture person, then it’s a good idea to recruit others who can assist you in paying attention to the details. At New Song Church, we are fortunate to have such amazing people aid in this task. However, asking others for help doesn’t absolve you of all responsibility. If something’s out of place, it’s important to take the initiative and handle it, which may simply mean getting the right people involved.
At New Song Church, we challenge both our leadership and our congregation to “Make the mission of the church personal.” In other words, we want them to own the mission of, “Helping people connect to God, others, and the world.” In an effort to own the mission, we are beginning to challenge one another to pay even more attention to the details so that we can tell a greater story-a story about a loving God who deeply cares about the details of each person’s life.
What kind of story is told by the details of your own life, whether it be at church, at work, at school, or at home? Is it a story that says, “I care“, or is it a story that says, “I don’t give a rip“? Whichever one it is, you can bet that it has a tremendous impact upon those around you. The details of your life have the potential to either point others toward God, or point them away from God.
Maybe it’s time for a self-awareness check in your own life. After all, recognizing the problem is the first step, and it will reveal the story that you’re communicating to others-a story that may surprise you.
Think about it.