As I continue to read Jim Collins book, Good to Great, I have had a myriad of thoughts regarding the important points of connection that we can make from his book in the church. Though many will criticize adopting Collins' principles in the church, those people unfortunately fail to realize that Collins' book isn't about business per se, or marketing, or anything of the sort, ultimately. Collins' book is about great leadership, and what happens when great leaders surround themselves with great teams, cultivate disciplined and healthy environments, thereby enabling them to develop and implement great strategies.
I would love to see a collaborative effort to create a Collins type book for church planters. This would require an entirely different sort of metric than Collins uses (since their primary identification of great companies dealt with stock-market performance), and could be the beginning of healthy new direction away from some of the perceived short comings of the church growth movement. It would be a blast to do, and a great benefit to the church. Anybody know someone who will fund me to research it?
Anyway, one of the things that Collins emphasizes is the simple power of under-promising and over-delivering. As I have thought about some of my own mistakes in church planting-- and other mistakes that I have witnessed others make, it seems that we have failed to grasp this simple truth.
We have criticized the traditional evangelical church for many things-- but I'm not certain that we're not repeating many of the same errors we have perceived in others within the evangelical tradition.
While thinking along these lines last night, I came across Jason Clark's post on Over Promising?. Clark's concerns resonate deeply with me and reflect much of my own experience in the church. Clark says,
So we move away from this stuff but what are we promising? I'm still reading, hearing, seeing promises of the newest and latest, it might now be called holistic, incarnational, missional, emerging, but in the enthusiasm of us involved, are we over promising again? We can now all be freed from the evils of the modern church to be 'authentic' and 'real', we can all be missional revolutionaries now.
But are most people going to reach this promised state of self-actualisation and revolutionary mission? I'm all for calling each other to radical discipleship, but if we over-promise, we'll leave people wondering what was that all about, it didn't happen for me.
I think he addresses a significant concern, and would love to hear thoughts and opinions on over-promising-- and possible proposals for a way forward. You can read Jason's full post here.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.