The Truths Only Fresh Eyes Can See

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I was hanging out with some dear friends; friends I’ve had for many, many years.  We were having a great morning.  Many laughs.  So good to see them.

And then the subject of their church came up.  Trying to help, I said what turned out to be a buzz kill and then spent the next 45 minutes desperately trying to help them see the big, giant, massive elephant in the room.  In their church.

They just couldn’t fully see it.  It was really like they could only see the issue in their peripheral vision.  Looking at it straight on, they blinked it away.  A kind of denial I guess.

I talked with them for 45 minutes about the following concepts.

Three Breakthrough Concepts:

  1. No problem-free.  This idea comes up almost every time I’m consulting with a church.  The essence of the idea is that there are no problem-free solutions, strategies, or systems.  Every solution comes with its own unique set of problems.  Wise leaders understand this and choose the set of problems they’d rather have.  And then do what they can to mitigate the problems.  I encouraged them to actually sit down and make a list of the problems that come with the their current solution and then another list of problems that come with my solution.  See also, Breaking: No Problem-Free Small Group System, Model or Strategy.
  2. Design determines results.  I got this idea from Andy Stanley’s great quote: “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.”  To me, this truth is as self-evident as anything Thomas Jefferson referred to in 1776.  The results you are experiencing are not a fluke or a coincidence.  The results you are experiencing are produced by the design you are using.  Lots of things go into the design (i.e., timing, finances, staff, coordination, etc.).  If you want different results, you must change the design.  See also, Five GroupLife Dots You Might Not Be Connecting.
  3. Fresh eyes and no emotional attachment.  I got this idea from a talk Andy Stanley gave where he mentioned something Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel said to Gordon Moore, when they were facing a tough decision at Intel.  Grove said, “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do?  Why shouldn’t we walk out, come back in and do it ourselves?”  See also, Fresh Eyes and No Emotional Attachment.

If I told you what their problem was, many of you would get their issue right away.  Unless it is your issue.  Instead of telling you what their issue was, I’d rather suggest you spend some time talking with some other leaders at your church and see if you can identify some ways in which you are stuck.  Once you have a few ways in which your church is stuck, you might come back and think through these three breakthrough concepts.

What do you think?   Have a question?  Have one to add?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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