Dan Pallotta has written a helpful post for the Harvard Business Review titled, “Stop Thinking Outside the Box.” In this work, he challenges his readers to understand the present box in which they find themselves in order to innovate and move beyond their limitations to health and growth. Consider his words:
“You cannot possibly think outside the box unless you understand the nature of the box that bounds your current thinking. You must come to know that nature deeply. You must have real insight into it. You must accept it, and embrace it at some level, before it will ever release you.”
Pallotta’s exhortation is helpful to us. How well do we understand our present circumstances on a biblical and missiological level?
Some of us understand our circumstances very well. Some of us have a very poor understanding of our circumstances. Kingdom stewardship involves ongoing evaluation of our present realities. We must resist the gravity that pulls us away from such reflection and take time to pray and think. (See my post, “Too Busy to Think).
A desire to move beyond the box is often noble, but not sufficient. Accurate understanding is critical. For “desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Prov 19:2, ESV).
Innovation in ministry is not done for the sake of competition or simply to be cool. The Church does not innovate just to be innovative. We innovate for the advancement of the gospel as the pressures of age apply force and create challenges to the mission of the Church (For more on my thoughts regarding innovation see my post HERE and HERE.)
Spirit-led innovation involves us knowing our present theological, missioloigcal, philosphical, organizational, and structural realities.
The truth is that Jesus will build His Church (Matt 16:18). But will He work through us to do it?
We must understand the box in which we presently find ourselves in order to make the necessary shifts for gospel advancement and church multiplication. Of course, this reality will differ from denomination to denomination, country to country, church to church, and individual to individual.
How well do you understand your present box? What is helping facilitate the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches? What is hindering the facilitation of the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches? What must stay? What must change?