Friday, July 25, 2014

“Find the spark of creativity and water it”

Unfortunately, this mixed metaphor describes what we often do in church.  Naturally creative people come up with new ideas then those ideas are stifled in the implementation phase.  Why? There are many causes—a desire to control,  fear of the untried, failure to understand, satisfaction with the status quo, or lack of vision.

Exactly what is the role of leaders and leadership groups (committees, deacons, elders, etc.) in a congregation?  Are these people gatekeepers or permission givers?  Do they seek to empower or control?  Do they build up the body of Christ or hold it captive?

Certainly, there is a need to vet new ideas to make sure that they are moral, financially feasible, and comply with basic legal concerns.  Real leaders, however, find ways to bring creative ideas into compliance so that they can move ahead rather than be stopped in their tracks.

One reason that young adults are disenchanted with the church is that they no longer see the church as open to innovation.  In too many cases, the desire of entrenched leadership to preserve and protect has overcome the desire to create and bring new life. We find many young adults who start their own ministries because they are not willing to jump through congregational or denominational hoops that ten to squeeze the life out of ministry.

John 3:8 says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (NIV) Not every new idea is born of the Spirit, but perhaps we should be more prayerful in our consideration and spiritually discerning before we squelch something new.

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