Narrowing the focus is about deciding to do less in order to be more effective. It calls leaders to develop the skill and willingness to eliminate certain programs so other programs can become stronger. It suggests that you create brands that are distinct and target a specific group. It requires the creation of a not-to-do list in order to protect the organization from the draining effects of complexity.
When you apply the principle of “narrow the focus” to your environments, you will discover a number of advantages almost immediately.
The more you focus each environment, the greater the relevance.
If you have a room full of high school believers, it is much easier to target your communication to teach something applicable than if you had a room filled with both believing and unbelieving high school students.
The more you focus each environment, the better the connection.
When an environment is focused on a specific season of life, the potential for individuals to network relationally always increases. Every time you narrow your focus, you magnify the level of the relationships. For example, teens will connect, but teenage girls will connect better, and ninth-grade girls will connect even better.
The more you focus each environment, the higher the quality.
A lot of churches struggle to achieve excellence because they are just doing too much. When there is les to do, you can do whatever you do more efficiently. When churches visit North Point Community Church, they often remark on the level of quality the see in a given environment. But when it’s explained to them what North Point doesn’t do, they usually admit they could do what we do if that’s all they did.
The more you focus each environment, the stronger the impact.
Focus is why a river has more force than a swamp. Focus is the reason you can do surgery with a laser but not a flashlight. It’s the reason some churches effectively influence their communities and others don’t.
REFOCUS YOUR MISSION
Whenever a church decides to narrow its focus, it should be in the context of our calling to lead people to follow Christ. For that is how the church is primarily different from every other organization. We are not in the business of education, social reform, or political revolution. Any of these issues can potentially dilute the effectiveness of the church. We could spend ours debating to what degree the church should be involved with a number of issues. But let’s stay focused. History proves that it is too easy for the church to get distracted. Our business is to provide hope and salvation for the human heart. And fact it, that’s a mission that definitely deserves your undivided attention.
Taken from 7 Practices for Effective Ministry, by Andy Stanley, Lane Jones and Reggie Joiner.