I wonder if you would do an experiment with me? I recently finished Andy Stanley’s latest book called “Deep and Wide” which has the premise that the most important question for a successful church is “Who is the church for?” It was a compelling example a church that strives to be “open source”.

There are a lot of things that churches, myself included in my various roles on church staffs, have done because they are the way they’ve always been done. But if a church has a clear goal, i.e: make disciples, help people take the next step in their relationship with Jesus, change a city, etc. Then shouldn’t their programming and communication be towards that end and not upholding a status quo?

But that is too close to home for us church folks. Why fix something that isn’t broken? (sarcasm is harder to read in print)

So maybe we can start this important discussion by looking at a similar example in the public education system. If you have the time please watch this video from Seth Godin, called Stop Killing Dreams (if you like the video he has a free eBook on the same topic.) View the questions raised through the eyes of your churches strategy to the way they do services, invite people, and teach.

Here are some questions based on the video:

  • Frederick J. Kelly invented the #2 pencil and also the standardized test. People accepted the standardized test as the new normal. Later, Frederick J. Kelly said the standardized test was not an effective tool and even harmful for public education. His reward for innovating and adapting was a severance package. What ideas have your church tried that were accepted, but are actually not effective or have stopped being effective? And, how would killing those sacred cows get your closer to your vision?
  • What are the 2 most important take-aways for church leaders/creatives from this talk?
  • Based on the idea “When it is work people try to do less, when it is art people try to do more” how should this effect the way we do church?
  • What is the way you do church (services, teaching, seating, building, etc) communicating to the next generation of why church exists?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or tweet me.