The Problem with Good Ideas

As we wrap up the Orange Conference today, you’ll head home with your lots of intriguing, inspiring and innovative ideas. In fact, every time you mine a website, dig through a blog, read a book, connect with other leaders or attend a conference, that’s what happens.

And the challenge on coming home is this:  you will be tempted to try to implement a few good ideas.  And that’s the problem.

The activity in most churches is often a conglomeration of good ideas.  But in the sea of good ideas, nothing is truly great.  And good isn’t good enough.  One great idea…one great ministry…one great initiative will always beat out a hundred good ones.  The tablet computer market has been around a longer than the iPad.  But it was a handful of reasonable ideas, experiments and good (and not so good) products.  Then came one great product: the iPad.  And it changed everything.  According to most pros, all the competition that has since ensued is just good.

And that’s the problem with good.

What if going home the best thing you could do was to spend six months reconsidering everything you did?  Some of that will be easy.  It doesn’t take a leader to identify what is bad, dead or not working.  That might be easy to get rid of.  But chances are you have more than a few good things at your church.  Why not look at eliminating the merely good so you can do what is great?

At Connexus, where I serve, here are a few ways that plays out:

  • We are committed to reaching your families, and we program everything in our weekend service around that – the music, the message and our entire service.  Lots of others attend, but we never apologize for a style of service that is targeted and specific in its objective.
  • We don’t do a lot of ‘adult’ programmes (other than community groups) so we can focus on getting people into community groups and focus on building a first rate family ministry.  If you do less, you can accomplish more.
  • We say no to almost every initiative that gets proposed for ministry because we don’t want to go off mission or off strategy.  It’s not that the way we do ministry is not the only way to do ministry, it’s just that it’s the way we’re committed to doing ministry.

So as you head home, don’t settle for good.  Do the hard work and get to great.  You won’t be sorry.


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