Actually, God is in the details

I’ll admit upfront that I’m a bit biased when it comes to this topic. As a writer and project manager, I tend to live and breathe details. Vision and big-picture strategy are definitely important (otherwise, I wouldn’t have any details to work on!) but those get all the press. Vision and strategy are much more interesting than the nitty-gritty details required to make them happen, right? So, if you’re heading into a meeting with a roomful of visionaries and need to convince them that details aren’t evil…here’s some supporting information for you:

Evidence A: Read the book of Numbers

I’ve read through the entire Bible and even for a details-gal Numbers was tough-going. However, it’s a great example of why details are important to carrying out God’s plan.  God instructed Moses to take a census of the people. He then gave very detailed instructions of how they were to setup camp, plus provided responsibilities for each tribe. He was creating a new nation with a new mindset on how to live; so detailed instructions were necessary to ensure a successful community. Details definitely serve a purpose and support the vision.

Evidence B: Look at creation

The best scientists in the world still don’t fully understand all the intricacies of the human body. Theories abound on how ecosystems work, how the universe came into being, and why cat videos are so popular on YouTube (okay, I threw that last one in just for fun).

From how the Earth rotates at just the right angle around the sun to the complexities of our DNA, God didn’t skimp on the details when He created the universe. He didn’t have to make sunsets a tapestry of color or create such an incredible variety of species, but He did. God paid intricate attention to detail when He formed the heavens and the earth. We’re made in His image, so it makes sense that we would also get into the details.

Evidence C: Order and structure in the early church

In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul provides guidance on how to maintain order within church services (1 Cor. 14:26-33).  In 1 Timothy, Paul provides a list of qualifications for overseers and deacons. It includes 17 characteristics someone must possess to be considered to be an overseer within a church (1 Timothy 3:1-13). The list for a deacon even includes qualifications for the candidate’s spouse, so Paul didn’t hold back on the details here.  In both instances, we see that clarity, direction, and detailed instructions are provided to the church.

As I’ve said before, vision provides the compass; implementation shows up with work boots on. Both are absolutely necessary. God provides incredible vision, dreams, ideas, and inspiration. I’m convinced He also values the details that go into making those big ideas happen. If you’re into details, that’s awesome! Find someone whose vision you can support and help him make it a reality. That’s what I seek to do with my writing and consulting. It’s incredibly rewarding to help a visionary leader make it happen, so let’s value both vision and details while working together to achieve the seemingly impossible.