Amazon is on to something. Consider this leading “you want it, we have it” industry that can make something magically appear on your doorstep within 48 hours and now some items within the hour.
In reading a current article on their newest “office” in Seattle, I contemplated what this could mean for the church. Amazon is investing millions of dollars and hours of thought into something that won’t give an immediate return on it’s use. This outside the box idea for a creative space is pointing towards a larger idea and I think we can learn from it as the church.
No organization or church is exempt from having been stuck on a project, building campaign, attendance, budgeting, etc. So, how do you fix it? Simply keep doing what you always have done and expect different results. Nope! Albert Einstein defined insanity that way. You should be insane if you are upset with being stuck and you aren’t trying something new.
On the contrary some organizations are killing themselves by trying something new everyday. Just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually. Like a seed needs water and sunshine to grow, so do ideas. PRO TIP: Don’t pitch your idea as a seed. Give it some time to really grow within you first so you can give a more accurate description to those you are casting the vision for…even then it might not take.
I get new ideas all the time in two different ways.
I literally get outside my own box. To think outside of the box you have to get outside the box. This can be a tricky situation and generate all kinds of selfish feelings if you don’t go into it with the right heart. If you go into another church or business to truly learn, there is always something you can take away from that visit. Just ask the question, “How can I implement this mindset or pieces of this where I’m at?” Then start building a case for how that could better your organization without compromising who your organization is or what you stand for. Far too many youth pastors I know never visit another church, and don’t talk to other youth pastors, we can learn so much from each other! This is one take on getting outside the box. I also just enjoy carving out time monthly to literally get out of my office, outside my home and into the outdoors. Just this past weekend I rode out into the Texas hill country with our worship pastor. As the road carried us through twists and turns, so did our conversation. We went back and forth exchanging thoughts of hunting, marriage, financial decisions and practice of ministry. At one point in the conversation I threw an idea out there that had been building within me for a while. He bit. And then took it to another level. Who knows whether the idea will come to fruition but for the next 3 hours we enjoyed the hills, rivers, and stars of the hill country while we did some polishing of the idea. We got outside the box, weren’t interrupted or distracted by meetings or emails, just two guys enjoying a conversation about how to better serve our King in the ministry we’ve been called.
I continuously ask the question “how can we make this better?” within my own box. If we settle for mediocrity then we will never pursue greater things. There is a difference between being a perfectionist and striving for excellence. Perfection cannot be obtained, nor should we put that pressure on ourselves or on the ones we lead. Ephesians 6:7 comes to mind, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” If we took this mindset on in everything we do at work and in our personal life, aiming to serve the King, I think we would strive for excellence more and better understand God’s grace for us when we don’t quite measure up to perfection. Again, perfection is not what we were called to, but we were called to serve the Lord. Do you look at your check-in process as checking in the Lord’s children? What about greeting? Do we greet people as if the Lord were walking through our doors? Yes, it’s a different take, but if we all truly looked at it this way I think the church would be a different experience for those that attend for the first time.
Get away and think/work in a different place this week. Try and see things differently!