Monday, May 12, 2008

Change Please

From my demented perch, change and leadership go hand in hand. If you are not leading positive change, then there is another word for what is going on . . . management.

Now, there is nothing wrong with good management, but I am not sure that is what we aspire to in mission. We usually enter a city or campus setting with the desire to render things different that what they currently are. This we understand - we role up our sleeves and tackle what needs to be done. But the rub is that often times we look behind us, or simply put new window dressing on current practices, and we end up with the same things we have gotten in similar locations (again, not bad at all, but not real change). This is ok if you are going from UCLA to UC-Davis, but may prove painful if you are going to Istanbul or Moscow.

Again, nothing wrong with doing what we know works well, but it simply will never get us anything different than what we are currently aware of. And I believe we are desperately in need of something radically different. The books of Acts was not a revamp of the existing synagogue system, but a whole new format for connecting with God. (new wine skins!)

A few weeks ago I was sitting with Alan Hirsch and a few others over dinner. Alan made a side comment (which are always awesome) about the need for some people in the west to simply go uncorked in experimentation. Not with a better band, or more stories in their speaking . . . but some stuff simply not heard of. What should they do? I don't know . . . . that is where the wild experimentation could really take root. This is where I believe the young and the restless of this generation will make their mark (so us old dudes best get out the way).

What are some ideas?


Anonymous said...

...made me think of Starving Jesus. 'Uncorked' is a fair description of their mission. Kelly (San Marcos)

Ken said...

I long for the freedom to go for it, and try anything, it would be totally awesome. I think instead of raising money for mediocre events like porn nation, lets take the money and set some people free. Lets have a kind of spin-off if you will. You know when a big airline like United creates a separate small airline like Ted and lets it run a different business model and create something new but with some of the resources of the established beast. That would be fun, have the freedom to re-write and create everything including all the HR stuff, budgets, get out from under the financial burdens and rules and start fresh and see what happens. Sign me up!

Brian said...

Shane glad you're in the mix on this! I agree with Ken. But I also understand that our biggest national and regional givers are modern-minded, and have a tough time giving their money to things outside of their comfort zone.

I totally get it; they bought Apple at $5 a share back in the day, and want to get the most for their money.

However, so much money is earmarked for 'mediocre events' and books that students throw away the second they walk away from our table.

I don't just see this in terms of money. However, our fear of investing money in things outside of what we always have definitely says a lot about our values. The trail of our money is definitely telling a story about who we are and what we believe is 'worthwhile' stuff.

If we redistributed the money earmarked for FSK's the last 2 years into catalyzing experimental and uncharted stuff, I wonder what we would be able to come up with.

Wix said...

Dudes, I too have been thinking about unleashing creativity in our staff and students and on our campus for the good of all peoples, especially for the "least of these." And that means creating a space for them to get out of the box and experiment with their passions and giftings and what interests/excites them.

I think too that with this, we need to teach and model how to listen to God together. I mean sometimes I wonder what would happen if we took the first month or two that's traditionally the crazy events, start-up, get the Freshmen months - and just spend significant portions of that time praying and listening and walking around on campus and in the city, talking with different people-groups etc. and asking God where he wants us to join Him. And then coming back and sharing, and having conversations and praying about things together - asking God, hey is Karmen's idea what you want us to get into, or is Tony's idea from you? Then, coming up with resources to test out those ideas and the will of God. Any thoughts or takers? :)

I put this out as a good balance to creativity and experimentation, b/c I think we can swing to the other extreme where we just integrate new stuff without the other pieces. Clint Kemp makes at good point about having the spiritual flow of awareness, reflection, conversation and then integration. We need the reflection and conversation pieces, with each other and with God. Or else, we run into the danger of going from awareness (hey, this isn't working, we need change!) straight to implementing new stuff.

Shane Deike said...

Wix! This is absolutely on the money. Students, listening to Jesus, is probably the most powerful thing that could every happen. Teaching them to listen is the most powerful thing we could teach (and believing God will speak may be the biggest thing we need to embrace). One thing is for sure - you never march around Jericho with trumpets if you only strategically plan . . . you had better hear from Jesus in the dessert . . . and if you do, you will be willing to march in your underwear (that is in the original hebrew).