Clarify the Win

Clarify the WinI first heard the language “Clarify the Win” a few years ago in a Practically Speaking podcast, where the senior leaders at North Point Community Church talk about their 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.

What is it to “Clarify the Win”?

Leaders and volunteers want to “win,” but often find it difficult to know whether they did. They need a scoreboard that allows them to look back at a worship service, a class, a small group meeting, or a special event and know whether they did the job right. So, we need to clarify the win.

If we don’t clarify the win, we typically measure it by (a) whether a lot of people came or (b) whether people seemed to like it. Neither of these are necessarily bad, but they aren’t very good measurements of effectiveness.

It’s a bit like shooting an arrow and then placing the bulls-eye around the already-shot arrow, rather than seeing the target, aiming for it, and shooting it.

It’s also important to note that a “win” is not a mission statement. A mission statement describes the big-picture that you want to see happen over the long haul. A win is experienced in the short-term as you evaluate any given ministry experience.

My Mistake

Though I had heard the Practically Speaking podcast numerous times prior to planting the church, I had not made clarifying the win a consistent part of my leadership.

In designing different ministry environments, some of them had a clear win (the easy ones) and many didn’t. I wish I had done the hard work with our early team to clarify the wins for each of our environments, but I didn’t.

The Focus of Clarity

A few weeks ago, our staff team spent an entire day of meeting to clarify the win for each of our ministry environments. Some of these were easy and took just a few minutes. One of them took almost two and a half hours.

But the result is that we now know what we’re aiming at. We now have the ability to share this with our volunteers so they know what they’re aiming at. I love the focus that this clarity provides.

Some of our Wins

Below are some of the wins that we’ve clarified:

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Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

One thought on “Clarify the Win

  1. Somewhat related, I’ve discovered in my personal, relational and professional lives, if I don’t clarify a ‘win’ I’ll find myself still searching for a ‘win’ because I failed to recognize that I already had one under my belt.

    For example, if I’m unable to recognize that a job is a good one, I’ll keep searching for my ‘dream one’ because I’ve failed to recognize what I have. This is a pretty common problem among millennials.

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