The Need For Clarity
John Telgren

He took a breath and began, "To get to Landis, Go down about a mile and turn left at the third light. Don't make a right turn because if you make a right turn, you will have to go down about three blocks and circle around to the north and turn right at the mansion over the hill in order to get back on the right road. After the left you need to drive to the bottom of the hill and go to the underside of the overpass, but not over the overpass, because if you do you will wind up on the highway and it will be about another three miles down the road before you come to another exit where you will can turn around, but you wouldn't be able to get off where you go one because the exit is only one direction, you actually have to go past it to the next exit and take the access road back. After you go under the overpass, go through the intersection and turn into the plaza on the right, not the left where the gas station is because it is really hard to get across all those lanes of traffic if you wind up over there. You will see a sign for the office on the sign, just go to the room number and you are there."

No one likes unclear directions. I prefer a map to spoken or written directions. When someone is giving me directions orally, I typically write down the directions in the form of a map as they are giving it to me. This way I am more likely to see clearly how to get where it is I need to go.

We can view the Christian life in much the same way. God has not made spiritual growth and discipleship that complicated. Jesus demonstrated this clearly in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Many of the subjects Jesus dealt with were the subjects of a dizzying array of splitting dialogue interpretations among the rabbis who had a tendency to make things so complicated with their "scholarship" that the average simpleton could not hope to get a handle on it without a considerable amount of training. This stands in stark contrast to Jesus, who was straightforward and clear enough for anyone to follow.

We also need to have clarity in our process for spiritual growth. The "process" is just as important as the "purpose." It defines "how" everything works and "how" we get to where we are going. It does me no good to know I want to be at Landis if I don't know how to get there.

So, questions to consider are: What is our destination? In other words, what is a disciple to look like? What is the process to get there? How do each of our weekly programs fit into the process? What gaps are there in the weekly programming and process? When evaluating and measuring effectiveness, we need to measure horizontally not vertically. In other words, the question is not how many people are in each program and ministry, but how many are actually moving through the process and demonstrating spiritual growth and discipleship?