I just finished reading a book titled Just Start, by Schlesinger, Kiefer, and Brown. It is a book right up my alley. I’ve long been a proponent of Ready-Fire-Aim, so this book fits me like a glove. I highly recommend it, especially if your church is stuck or declining.
The premise of the book is that in an unpredictable world like this one, you never learn what will or won’t work until you act. The authors put it this way – you act, learn, and then build. In an unpredictable future traditional learning and thinking will only get us in trouble. What we need to is what they call “Creaction.” Today we create by acting, not thinking.
Now apply this to the Church. Many of our churches are built around a committee structure that tries to analyze the life out of an idea or issue before acting on it. A committee may spend months, even years, trying to decide if they should attempt a new ministry. In many cases that is all they do – think about it. Instead the authors suggest, in Nike fashion, “Just do it; see what you learn, and then build the future.”
Now I know this is counter-intuitive for most clergy. Seminary, if anything, teaches us to think. It makes thinkers out of us, not doers. This may have made sense in a predictable world, but not in the kind of world we live in today, where much of what we depend on didn’t exist 25 years ago.
So if you want to drive your committees crazy, ask them to read this book. It just might open some eyes to the fact that if you keep thinking the way you are thinking, you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.
Question: How have you implemented the “act, learn, build” model in your church? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.