Early on in my ministry a common phrase I would use was, “We need to blow this up from scratch!”. By that I mean that I wanted to do away with a system or structure to make way for what I REALLY wanted to do. What was implied was that my current system couldn’t allow me the freedom I needed.

The problem with “blowing stuff up” is that it’s destructive. It creates chaos and confusion. It hurts people and often leaves leadership scratching my their heads wondering why they put me in charge to begin with. Blowing up a system or structure rarely works, unless it’s truly a work of the Spirit.

Yesterday, during my Youth Ministry Coaching Program I had a breakthrough. For a while now I’ve been banging my head against he wall trying to think of ways to integrate our students into the church. I’ve been stuck on how to do that in our current structure.

Then I came across a chapter in a book called

  • Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie
  • (an awesome book about keeping your creative voice while still working in a corporate culture). Gordon says, “Any time a bureaucrat (a custodian of the system) stands in between something you need or want, your challenge is to help the bureaucrat find a means, harmonious with the system, to meet your need.”

    The implication for me is that blowing stuff up isn’t necessary (unless it’s the 4th of july). As a leader, you can find ways to achieve what God has called you to do within the system you’ve been called to. The challenge is to let he Spirit give you wisdom on how to do it without leaving a trail of human bodies behind you.

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