When Your Ideas For The Church Become a Problem

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Cliff Notes Version!

For the short bullet point version of this post click the button to the right.

We all have ideas.

And, if you are like me when you are smack in the middle of having an idea you have this euphoric feeling that it’s the best idea ever known to man… Sliced bread, move on over ‘cause there’s a new sheriff in town.

You get gitty with excitement and start planning all the needs and scenarios. Then it’s off to do the hard work of bringing it into reality. Any idea worth its salt requires sweat equity and hard work. So, if you deem the idea “good enough” and worth the investment of time, money and other resources… you pursue it to make it a reality.

At least that’s a very paired down explanation of how ideas become products, services, and world changers.

Unfortunately, many in the church have adopted a very different approach to ideas.

The Church and Ideas

This approach generally starts at the euphoric “dream” stage and then ends there or worse the idea dreamer see’s themselves as simply the gifted idea person and the requirement to put feet to that idea rests with someone else.

The church doesn’t need just dreamers, it needs dreamers who understand and are willing to put feet to their idea without the requirement that anyone else steps with them.

When all you have are just ideas is when your ideas for the church become a problem.

Here are 3 simply ways to manage your ideas:

1. Take Responsibility For The Idea You Have Been Given.

This idea was given to you, so it’s your responsibility to test it, confirm it’s needed and bring it to life; if it needs to be brought to life.

While it is a great step to talk it over with the staff, pastors or trusted Christian leaders; you need to remember the point of this talk is not to get them to do your idea for you. This is your task. It is not the job of the staff or pastors to make every members word from God come to life. The pastoral staff is there to help support the church, guide them and counsel them in the teachings of Christ. They are not there to become your personal on-demand workforce for making your idea grow feet.

If the idea needs life, then it will only find it in your hands.

2. This is not a competition. So take the time to listen.

I’ve seen this happen too many times in my years growing up in the church. The saying “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” in a way explains it. When the church is faced with a problem and there are multiple ideas on how to solve it, don’t be too eager in your emotion to dismiss everyone else. And for goodness sake remember we are all broken, we have all sinned, and we are all prone to failure; so don’t be so quick to look over other solutions because you can’t see past the ideas floating between your ears.

3. Your idea will cost you something.

Let me repeat that, your idea will cost you something. Let that sink in. If it doesn’t cost you anything then it wasn’t your idea to bring to life.

I’m not just talking about money here either. Any idea that is being brought to life costs us something. That might be time, resources, investment, late nights, heartache, joy or all of the above. The point is, it’s easy to have an idea and expect everyone else to make it happen when it doesn’t cost you anything. This happens all too often in the church and that kind of approach to ideas is rubbish. It is empty and doesn’t accomplish the beauty the idea promises.

3.5 Stop being so critical of other ideas

Some church bodies are more guilty of this than others. I’ve seen my fair share of the uber critical groups and then the polar opposite groups that seem to thrive in their community support of one another.

It’s ok to disagree about how to approach a problem. This is healthy and often leads to better solutions. It becomes unhealthy when anger, resentment, personal interests and greed enter the room.

There’s a funny saying I grew up with in high-school. It went like this, “Check yourself before your wreck yourself.”

We said it often because, well, it was just fun to say but there is truth in it. Don’t let your emotions rob the church of a better solution to a complicated problem. The church already has enough problems. If you’re going to do anything, offer solutions with a healthy dose of grace and inner reflection.

Then offer up what you have and see what God will do.

B-Points | Cliff Notes Version

1. If your idea needs to be brought to life, it’s going to cost you something.

2. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make your idea a reality. That responsibility lies with you.

3. Don’t make it a competition. The dialogue of solutions is healthy as long as you keep your emotions in check.

4. Remember to listen to others. You don’t have all the answers, neither do they. Together through prayerful unity, better solutions can be found.

5. Stop being so critical. Disagreement is good and healthy but make sure your objection is coming out of a heart of grace that seeks a solution and not out of a heart of anger or hurt.

6. Your idea is going to cost you something. I’m mentioning this one again because it’s so important. Ideas require nurturing to grow and that responsibility is yours. Don’t expect the pastors, staff or the church to make your idea come to life just because you had it. If it needs life then you have what is needed to get it there. The church may be able to support you in this but the responsibility for making it active is yours.