Have you ever had a unique thought that just seemed to make sense but then you realized that as far as you know no one is doing it that way? What has been your next thought? Was it, “It must not be possible because no one else is doing it”? Was it, “It must not work because no one else is doing it that way”?
What if you turned those thoughts around and instead asked, “Why not?”
Isn’t it possible that no one has tried it the way you are thinking? Isn’t it possible that no one with your unique skills has tried it before?
Many years ago I sat in Lyle Schaller’s living room with a few others. We were there to interview him and ask his impressions of some discipleship ideas we were considering. I was part of a group in my denomination who were attempting to create a new approach to disciple making that would excite and inspire our people, and the churches they were attending, to do discipleship in whatever way would work for them.
While sitting and talking with Lyle Schaller that afternoon we listened as he shared from his years of research and experience. In the midst of our discussions Lyle made a statement that deeply impacted me and my ministry. He said the church is not really afraid of failure. He went on and said that the church’s hesitation to try new things was not from a fear of failure. That statement went against the traditional thinking of trying to bring change to a church. I asked why he thought the church wasn’t afraid of failure. His response was that the church was used to failure. That if a church tried something new and it failed then everything was likely to go back to the way it was before the new thing was attempted.
He went on to say that what the church (meaning those of us in the church) was afraid of in trying something new was success! Because if we tried something new and it worked, then that church would never be the same again. That, he said, is what frightens us and gives us pause about trying something new!
I have found that Lyle Schaller was correct all those years ago and unfortunately that same thinking is still prevalent in most of our churches today.
In fact as I was reading, thinking and praying today I have come to the realization that I have been getting squeezed into that thinking in my own life and somewhat in my ministry. I have been struggling to pull the trigger on trying some things that I believe God is prodding me to do personally and I have been dragging my feet in leading my churches toward some change that is absolutely necessary.
I believe it is time to start stepping out in some fresh ways in my life and in my leadership. This afternoon as I have been processing all of the thoughts racing through my mind and all of the possibilities I keep coming back to this thought, “Why not?”
If I go for it and I bomb it will have been quite an experience and I am confident I will get many sermon illustrations from it. However, if I go for it and it works … I have a big smile on my face and tears in my eyes as I consider the possibilities. The same is true for my churches.
So, why not?
What is your why not? What is it that you have been sensing the thumb of God in your back to do? Why not give it a shot?
Should you pray about it, absolutely! But I am guessing that you have already done that and still not started. Why not? Should you consider the good, the bad and the possible ugly of going for it, certainly! Then consider this, why not?
Here’s hoping and praying that my courage holds and I go for it. Actually it is several “its”. Here’s hoping that you really ask “Why not?” and then consider going for whatever you are sensing from God.
If my going for it crashes and burns at least it will provide some warmth for a while and will likely attract some others to investigate what happened when they see the flames.
So, why not?