Imagine a hallway full of doors, all of which lead to the same destination.
All your life, you’ve seen people go through one particular door, so you use it, too. But one day you try to go through that door and it won’t open for you.
What do you do?
Insistence says, “get me a battering ram, a crowbar or a prayer group. We’re going to push, pry or pray this door open!”
Innovation says “let’s try another door, and another, until we find one that opens. They all go to the same place, after all.”
Both options have their merits. After all, there are times when a door is stuck because of a problem that needs to be fixed. But not always.
We all have to fight the tendency to commit to a door, rather than to the goal on the other side of the door.
When your usual door won’t open, be willing to try other doors. In most situations, innovation is often the best, most overlooked option.
(We interrupt your reading for a shameless product plug. My new book, Small Church Essentials is now available. Now, please continue with your regularly scheduled blog post.)
When Habits Become Idols
We all have habits, many of which are very good.
But when habits become rules, and rules become goals, our habits become idols.
Before we know it, the door becomes the goal, not the means to the goal.
Church leaders do this when we lock in on an extra-biblical program, method, or tradition as if it was God-ordained. When we do that, a denomination, curriculum or musical style can become the reason, rather than a door.
Insistence tells us that when a method stops working, we don’t need to try another door, we must break down that door. “We need more money, better leaders or a more cooperative City Hall!” we insist.
All the while, there’s another door that could be easily opened if only we’d pause to consider “maybe there’s another way to get where we need to go.”
Innovative leaders don’t insist on the door they’re in the habit of using. They’re willing to try different ways to get to their goal.
Plus, trying a new door is often far more efficient, cost-effective and creative than banging on an old door that doesn’t want to open.
Doors are doors. Goals are goals. Wise, innovative leaders never confuse the two.
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