Mar 8, 2022

Small Things Are Really Big Things

Decades ago, Walt Disney was developing an experimental, audio-animatronic Tiki Bird for his newest attraction...the Enchanted Tiki Room.

As he met with his developers, he watched the birds blink, move and sing.  He was excited, but there was one thing he felt was missing.  The Tiki Birds weren't programmed to look like they were breathing when they weren't talking or singing.

His team had a good answer:  The circuits, valves and pumps made it difficult to add an element that hardly anyone would notice.  If the bird was breathing, and 99% of the audience would likely never notice, would it make a difference?  One of the Imagineers said to Walt, "People are not going to get this. This is too much perfection."

Walt listened to the team and then shared a lesson that is one of the secrets of The Walt Disney Company's success.  "People can feel perfection."  Quality is the imperceptible things that guests might not even know they see.  But "devotion to detail lets guests know that they're worth the effort." 

Going the extra mile to make sure the birds looked like they were breathing may seem like a small thing.  But it is really a big thing. 

Excellence is the whisper that comes from the small things done well. 

Let me ask you a question.  Do you pay attention to the little details in your ministry?  Do you seek to do the "small" things well?  

Here are some examples of doing the "small" things well so that you are known for a ministry that strives for excellence. 

Is your sound booth clear from clutter?  Old service papers laying around?  Empty coke cans laying in the corner?  Dusty?  

Are there chips of paint missing in your areas?  Those small chips that are missing add up to a big perception of your commitment to excellence.

Do you follow through and take care of the small requests that your volunteers ask of you?  It may seem like a small thing to you, but it's a big thing to them. 

Do your letters, Facebook posts, graphics, lesson papers, take home papers, etc. have a small typo here and there?  People notice those small typos and it sends a big message to parents and volunteers that you are not committed to the details.  I know it can be hard for one proofreader to catch every typo.  Set yourself up for success in this area by having at least 2 people proofread everything that you are sending out.  Everyone has occasional typos, but when people see a typo, they should think it is a rare occurrence.

Do you respond to emails, texts and phone calls from your volunteers in a prompt manner?  It's those small, returned phone calls or messages that whispers to your volunteers that you think their questions and input is a big deal for the success of the ministry.

Are you prepared when you show up to teach the kids on Sunday morning?  The big impact lessons come from the time you spend preparing behind the scenes.

Placing a small sticker on a baby's diaper that says "I was changed" communicates a big commitment to caring for the babies in your care. 

Coming prepared for the small volunteer huddle you have before service sends a big message to your volunteers.

"I'm not a details person." 

Don't hide behind an excuse like that.  Here's what you can do.  During your programming, always keep an index card (I know - old school) with you at all times.  When are notice a "small" thing that needs to be done, write it down immediately on your index card.  When a volunteer asks for something, write it down immediately. If you see something that needs to be fixed or updated, write it down immediately.  

Then on Monday, transfer those "small" items to your "to-do" list and take care of it.  

As you do the "little" things well, you will become known as a ministry that does things with excellence and you will make a "big" impact.

Remember...

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities."  Luke 16:10