Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Thinking outside the box has gone full circle. From introduction, to use, and abuse....it's now looked at again as likely a requirement for success.
Maybe twenty years or so it was thought that a person that was able to 'think outside the box' was able to approach problems in unique, new and very innovative ways. The phrase 'outside the box' ultimately became a cliche. Every business, school, church and organization was trying to think outside the box. Taco Bell even encouraged us to 'think outside the bun'.
I didn't know what the big deal was. I had the well-earned reputation of 'LIVING outside the box but visiting it occasionally'.
However, just like all good ideas, the opportunity for re-use is worth the effort. Today, our churches and ministries are finding very creative ways to reinvent the way they minister. When you consider that the move to nondenominational churches started over thirty years ago and that Mega-Churches have been around about the same amount of time, and that 'Purpose Driven' was first published in 1995, it's likely that it may be time to sense or create a new movement.
Start with the end in mind. What is it that is limiting your success in reaching people, of fulfilling your piece of the Great Commission? Have you considering truly changing the methods while keeping the message? If you are thinking that 'Church' is your box, start thinking 'Kingdom' and perhaps you'll find new creative ways to fulfill your calling.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I've learned the hard way that it's better to ask sometimes even embarrassing questions than to have less than a full understanding of a situation.
There is an old story that is worth repeating. There was a young girl that was watching her mom prepare a large ham for Easter and saw her mom cut the end off of the ham before putting it in the roasting pan. She asked her mom why she cut off the end and the mom answered, "That the way my mother always made it". Grandma soon visited and the young girl decided to ask grandma why she cut the end off the ham before she baked it and grandma said, "that's the only way it would fit into the pan".
Perhaps you have found that asking, "why?" is really the key in unlocking many secrets and wisdom that otherwise would go unfound.
In the Book of Proverbs, there is a lot of advice about asking questions, about getting good counsel before making decisions. It's likely that Proverbs 12:15 sums it up in saying, "Fools think they are doing right, but the wise listen to advice."
Questions are great ways to find out about people, to get instruction, to find out what people really are thinking and to correct misconceptions we have about many things.
There was a time when I had to rely on asking questions in managing and leading others. When I first arrived in Mexico in 1997 I barely knew the language, the laws and the customs. I had to ask lots of questions in order to be helpful and encouraging. It taught me to continually ask questions as a way of leading others and leading myself as well.
Why ask 'why'? Ask 'why' if you are interested in being wise, particularly if you are interested in people and always when you want to be helpful.
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