I’m not your typical serial entrepreneur. Pastor and entrepreneur are not two archetypes that usually go together. Yet, starting and building something to meet the needs of people? Yes, I have done that throughout my ministry life.
One of the frustrations I have with the church, in general, is its default position of maintaining the status quo. First of all, this doesn’t make sense when the world around us is changing exponentially in nearly all aspects of life. Second, what part of the church does the church think the status quo is a good thing? The track record isn’t good.
The church has a tendency to not only “not adapt”, but to also boycott any attempts to adapt. The world looks on perplexed, wondering why the church is fearful of something it doesn’t need to be. Years pass by, and the church finally realizes they should adapt, but by then it’s too late and they are years behind the trends again.
The church is known more for what it doesn’t do than anything else.
Churches can start out well-meaning, but then there is pressure to keep donors happy above the mission of the church. Much like a company that faces the pressure of keeping investors happy over delivering on their mission and/or product. Unlike a company where the end goal may be financial success for some people, that shouldn’t be a church’s end goal or mission.
At the recent Thinc Iowa conference, Steve Case discussed how entrepreneurs start out as attackers and disrupters. At some point, though, the status quo becomes the norm and the entrepreneur’s position becomes defensive. The status quo doesn’t adapt quickly enough to the changes in culture and society, so someone else steps in and meets the customer’s needs.
I liked Steve Case linking entrepreneur with disrupter. Within the church, I think that is a bit of my calling. Disrupt the norm and status quo. It’s not about disrupting the core doctrine, but making sure we execute creatively and effectively what it means to be a Christian today. Not position ourselves today for where the times were ten years ago, but positioning ourselves for tomorrow and beyond. Not disrupting for the sake of it, but disrupting because the status quo is a default position for many within the church.
Change is hard. Change is uncomfortable. Change is chaotic and out of our control. Change is necessary, though, if we are to disrupt the status quo, adapt to the ever-changing world around us, and make a difference.
What good is maintaining something that’s broken and ineffective?