Arks and Mustangs- Part 1
From Where are You Leading?
Is your church prepared for the digital age? Consider these two scenarios:
1. Noah built an ark. Noah received from God a vision for the future and built a vehicle that would be able to effectively navigate the landscape of that future. This vehicle, while ridiculed, out of place and misunderstood in the present, was necessary to effectively operate in the future. If he had resisted, he would not have been prepared for what was coming, for what God was doing and the results would have been catastrophic.
2. I recently saw a group of men huddled around a restored 1967 Mustang. The owner was in his 50's while the rest of the men were in their 60's. The thought came to me, "What would happen if the owner gave this car to his 25-year-old son?" After his initial excitement of receiving the gift, his son might ask the following questions:
How do I charge my IPhone?
How do I connect to Bluetooth?
How do I listen to music if there is only an AM radio?
How do I back up without a camera?
How do I use the GPS if I cannot use my phone?
It is possible that the answers to these questions could lead the son to say, "I am grateful that you would give me this car. However, while it fits you perfectly, it doesn't fit reality of the world in which me and my friends live. I'm afraid I'm going to have to find another car that better suits me and my friends who will ride with me."
These 2 scenarios represent 2 approaches to leadership and leadership development:
1. Leading from the Future
Noah did not just lead to future, he led from the future. While he lived firmly in the present, he understand that times change and those who anticipate and prepare for that change are the ones who have the best chance to survive and thrive in that new reality. Leading from the future means that we are seeking to discern what is coming and then creating, in the present, a plan for getting there. This is liberating.
2. Leading from the Past
Holding on to the past - whether it is celebrating the success or lamenting failures - hinders our capacity to move forward with effectiveness. I am afraid that the church we are handing off to the next generation is a '67 Mustang. We love it. We have carefully restored and/or preserved it. We can still drive it now and presumably until sometime in the future. However, it lacks some the requisite features that make it functional for those who will be driving it in the future. Leading from the past means that "what we have done" remains the determining factor for "what we need to do". This is a limiting.
In the coming posts, I will what I consider to be 3 of the those necessary features: Digital. Discipleship. Diversity.