So, day one of the annual Willow Creek leadership summit has drawn to a close. What a great day it was. From the opening message by Bill Hybels talking about “Axioms” basically condensing your decision making process down into a key phrase by which you can instinctively guide your actions, to the closing message by Effrem White, it was a good day. If you can sit through a message from Effrem White and not be stirred up, there must be something wrong with your spoon! That guy can BRING IT!
Bill’s message about Axioms was very interesting. He started off with asking the question “Do you even have a process you go through when making decisions, or do you just ‘wing it'” Sadly, I think many church leaders wing it and call it “being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit”. Instead of that, Bill referenced running your decisions through a series of filters. First, what does the Bible say? What do my closest confidants say? What has my experience taught me in similar situations? What does my gut say? And then eventually being able to condense that down into a single phrase. One of the more wealthy people I have met asked two questions before every business decision: “Whose problem is this?” and “Why would I want to do that?” It worked quite well for him and I can see how that methodology would apply. Me personally? I think I need to develop the “I don’t have a dog in that fight” axiom. Maybe I won’t over commit…
One of the other speakers, a Harvard professor (you have to pay attention to those guys, the spew information fast and furious, like machine guns) said that “we have spiritualized mediocrity”. You might disagree and say “look at the cool video we do on Sunday morning” or “we simulcast. Who is doing that?” or you could point to your super cool data base for follow up. But then compare that to centuries past when the church was the leader in thought (who was it that discovered the earth was round?) or art or music, and then look at where we are today. Imagine if when it came time to decide if it was going to be HD-DVD or BlueRay, instead of looking at the porn industry, the question was “What is the standard for the church? What are they using?” To paraphrase an old 80s Christian rock song “Why should the devil have all the good technology?”
Buy one item from Harbor Freight tools and see how much they follow up with you. Open a MasterCard account at BassPro shops and see how well they keep you informed on what is going on.
One of the speakers said “the first indication that spiritual health is in decline is an absence of laughter” Ouch. I agree, we as Christians should be the happiest folks around!
I always get so charged up at these things because it reminds me that we are not alone. There are thousands of us out there if we band together.