The One Sentence Filter

Remember when you started working at your church or started in ministry? (or any job for that matter) Remember the work you thought you’d be doing...

  • It’s the stuff you dreamed about when you first started this career.
  • It’s work you’re proud about, excited about, that means something to you
  • It’s making a difference.
  • It’s doing the stuff that matters.

Michael Bungay Stanier in his book Doing Great Work calls this list “great work”.

Most of us keep busy, productive, efficient and focused by doing “good work”. The danger is falling into the trap of allowing the "good work" to overwhelm you. When this happens you remove yourself from the "great work" you set out to do and you even fall into doing “bad work”- the mindless, aimless and pointless work.

One way you can keep yourself from doing “bad work" and even too much "good work", and start doing more "great work" is by coming up with your One Sentence Job Description. Boil everything you do into into one sentence, rather than a lengthy run on sentence.  

One simple sentence.

Here’s mine: To lead the Staff, Partners, Coaches and Leaders who lead Mission Church. 

When you form your sentence, do the following:

  • ask for feedback from a few trusted people
  • revise as needed
  • memorize
  • place it in places you will see often

Finally, use this one sentence job description to be a filter for the work you are doing. Use it to  ask yourself:

  • Does this work align with my one sentence job description?
  • Is this "bad work"?
  • Is this "good work"?
  • Is this "great work"?

@@Focus on great work, do your good work, and stop doing bad work.@@


What is your one sentence job description? Leave it in the comments below.