the last 2%? how about the last 20%!

When I was at Willow Creek and even before that at Kensington, we talked a lot about “the last 2%”.

The Last 20%

That part of any project when you just want to walk away, but if you stick to it, it will make whatever you’re trying to accomplish even better. This goes along with the idea of excellence honoring God.

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering about the last 20%. In many places I’ve been, both in churches and in schools, or other public functions, I’ve been amazed at the 20% that’s left undone.

The thing that is so surprising to me is that some of the things that needed to be done were simple. They weren’t complicated. They just required a little extra time…like 5 minutes here and 2 minutes there. The challenge is those 5 and 2-minute increments needed to happen yesterday or the day before or at least an hour earlier.

Taking time to plan ahead and execute tasks before you’re in the heat of the moment will make our services so much better.

The last 2% is almost impossible for average people to see. But the last 20%! Come on! My mother can see that. Typos. The lights not being quite right. Audio feedback.

Let’s take some time to figure out what we can accomplish early so that we can be ready for the unexpected. On any given weekend, there is about 20% we can’t know about…the things that just happen. If we leave another 20% on the table, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We can do better.

For the stuff that can be figured out…and there’s quite a bit of it, let’s figure that out during the week so that we can be ready for the stuff we can’t figure out.

Let’s make our mothers proud.

Todd Elliott

Todd Elliott

Todd is a writer, speaker, technical artist in the local church and founder of FILO.

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MAY 2-3, 2023