This is a series of posts exploring three major types of ideas that exist in a collaborative community… ideas that have to be shared in order for the community to actually be collaborative. For the first post in this series check out: Ideas in a Collaborative Community.
After an “oh-my-goodness-raising-two-kids-is-more-than-twice-as-much-work-as-raising-one” hiatus, I’m back to finish off our series on Ideas.
As I mentioned in the last post in this series, Ideas that Worked are always the most fun to share… but they should only be a part of the discussion taking place in collaborative communities. Though a little harder to share, it’s important that we bring New Ideas to the table whenever we’re having discussions with others in ministry. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful if I start with an idea we’re kicking around the leadership table at my home church, Glenkirk Church – located just miles away from the epicenter of this week’s 4.4 magnitude earthquake. One of the hard things about sharing a new idea, I’ll say up front, is that someone might steal it. You have to be okay with that. But… we’ll get there at the end of this post.
There’s a couple general assumptions about family dynamics as they apply to church.
1) Moms like church
It follows that, every year, Mother’s Day Sunday is highly attended at our church (what does mom want to do? Go to church!) while Father’s Day Sunday sees a bit of a dip (what does dad want to do? Sleep in! Do something fun! Anything but church!). As we aim to be a church that engages and equips families, our team has started to wrestle with this dynamic. Is it true? Are we okay with this? What could we do to fix a perceived dilemma?
The answers are simple:
Probably. No. Something we’ve never done before.
This year, we’re being intentional about making Father’s Day a day that unchurched dads will feel welcome on our campus. We’ll be barbecuing on the patio all morning, offering relevant gifts to dads in attendance, gearing the worship services to be engaging for your average guy, and making sure the sermon is on a topic that resonates with the dads in the room. Oh, and we’ll have live running commentary a la Sports Center from two guys on stage.
(don’t worry, it’ll be better than this guy)
The fun thing about a New Idea is that it’s just an Idea. We don’t have all of the details worked out. We’re still trying to put pieces in place and make sure that we have buy in where we need it. You know, there’s even a chance that this idea won’t actually even happen… but, there’s value in sharing it. Here’s why…
How to Share New Ideas
As I mentioned above, new ideas are exciting to share, but can be harder than ideas that worked. What if it’s an idea that won’t actually lead to an action? What if people don’t like the idea? What if you didn’t ask your Sr. Pastor if you could share the idea and potentially get it stolen? (Sorry, Jim.) I can’t speak to the third question (I’ll let you know tomorrow how that one went), but the first questions are legit and alright to ask. You just need to know that new ideas are never bad.
Your idea won’t be perfect.
Some people won’t like your idea. The advantage to sharing it, though, is that you can make changes to your plan before it actually launches. Try bouncing the idea off of the people at your church who are brutally honest… what are their thoughts? Sharing your idea and having it shot down will help you learn how to pitch it correctly. Oh, and don’t forget to share your ideas via twitter, facebook or even CmConnect.org. You have amazing resources at your fingertips. Literally. Your idea might not even be new – someone out there has probably tried it and can speak into your decision making process.
(which reminds me, if you’ve pulled off an amazing Father’s Day Sunday at your church, please comment below!)
Your idea might not work… for you.
That’s right… I said it. Now, get over yourself. Part of being in a collaborative community is that you have to think bigger than yourself. The Church is bigger than just your building. You idea might not work for you, but the process that led you there might lead someone to launching a better version of what you had planned. An idea 2.0, if you will. By sharing your idea, in the beginning stages, you open yourself up to be a resource to those around you and potentially expand your idea’s impact. There’s so much to say here… but, simply put, you need to be okay with failing. People have tried much bigger ideas than yours and have failed epically.
It might get stolen.
There’s no tip that I can share with you that can help you be okay with this. You just have to be. No magic wand here. If you ever have the chance to have a cup of coffee with me, you’ll hear me stand on my soapbox and talk about how your ministry needs to be bigger than your castle. Jesus came to usher in a kingdom. You get to be a part of that. You’re a jerk if you have amazing new ideas and you’re not sharing them because someone else might do them better than you. If you’re called to ministry, you need to remember that you serve a God who leaves the 99 to chase the 1 lost sheep. Your idea might help someone find that lost sheep. So, listen to your mom and learn to share. It’s what you’ve been called to do.
Later this week, we’ll tackle that elusive last type of idea. Here’s a hint.