As Hamel continued, I must have realized that I was not going to be able to keep up with him because my notes start getting less and less complete.
So, after he said that we must (in order to catch up with the pace of change in the world which is our context for ministry) (1) overcome the temptation to take refuge in denial and (2) generate more strategic options, he said that (3) what we’re doing now has to be destructed before the new can be built.
How in the world does one accomplish that and, well, isn’t that dangerous?
Clarification came to me with this next directive: CHALLENGE YOUR OWN ORTHODOXY. His instruction is to consider what has not changed for 3-5 years (and in that he implies “or longer”) and ask WHY? Those long-lasting things are “orthodoxy.”
As he started to toss out ideas of ways that the church could do this, my head started to swim (the good kind of head-swimming) with questions and wonders. He asked evocative questions. Why don’t we outsource sermons — put the topic out there a week or two ahead of time and let people contribute to it — participate in it’s development. Why don’t we bring lap tops to church for note taking and online interaction?
“The further down in the trenches you are, the easier it is to mistake the edge of the rut with the horizon.”
Yeah, just about everyone who took notes (whether it was like me in the mole skin or like many by Tweeting) got that one recorded.
So, when you’re looking at all of those things that have become “orthodoxy” for you — and arguing with yourself about why it’s okay that you’re holding on to tightly to strategies that don’t work any more and to programs that are ineffective, ask yourself this question: Am I more committed to redemption, renewal and restoration or to policies, processes and procedures?