Thursday, June 26, 2008


I like simple. I like things that I can figure out in virtually no time at all. Let me explain what I mean. Even though I'm in my thirties, and arguably part of a tech savy generation, I'm not all that up to speed on the latest and greatest of gadgets these days. For instance, I can barely use my phone. It has hundreds of things it supposedly does but all I use it for (and all I'm interested in using it for) is as a phone. Yes, I want my phone to act as a phone and that's it!

And I think this idea of simplicity is at the heart of what has made both Apple and Google so successful. A music player (Ipod) that I (the non-savy tech person) can actually figure out. Likewise, Google has made a name for itself based on offering simple and easy to use tools. Just the other day I was trying to create a survey for some church-related matters and I looked into a couple of programs that allow this sort of thing. While I didn't spend forever on it, I couldn't figure out either of them. I quickly googled google (yes, you can do that) to find out if they had any such service only to find out they did! I wasn't holding out much hope, though, but I was pleasantly surprised that in Google Documents they offer a nice little feature that allows you to survey and receive feedback on a spreadsheet. Even better, I was able to figure this out in no time at all. Simple. I like simple and I'm almost certain that we've made things way too complicated sometimes for our own good.

As I think about the church, it's mission and focus, I wonder if we couldn't learn a little something about simplicity (See Thomas Rainer's book Simple Church). Have we made things so tough and so complicated that people are left scratching their heads?