Scrappy Innovators

If anything, my personal blog is a mere journal of my thoughts. Ideas that I know I have and have grabbed from others as a means for not losing my step in the way I sometimes lead as well as follow in the larger church. One of those thoughts of late is this. Innovation happens when we learn the art of being scrappy. 

Innovation is a word that I think is very risky for some. I must admit, when I think of the word innovation I have mixed feelings. It’s a word that excites me to no end. It gives me hope that the local church isn’t done yet, when it comes to the tearing down of walls that continue to hinder the local church from doing real honest to goodness, backbreaking, gut wrenching kingdom work. These walls have been around way too long and honestly, I’m worried that it might mean our churches will continue to live in fear of decline, if we who serve in the trenches, and on the ground in the lives of people, don’t learn how to be a little risky in the ways we love people and be grace to those around us as well as the stranger. I think the church needs to learn how to be more scrappy when it comes to loving people into the kingdom.

Let’s face it. We who are in ministry have become sluggish. We’ve lost our mojo. We’re out of shape and I include myself in that statement. I sat with an Arabic Christian pastor a few days ago and I heard story after story of what life is like serving as a minister in another country. When I left, I wanted to cry as everything seemed to be put into perspective about my life as a pastor. His stories were a wake up call for me to stop whining and get back in the ring.

What does it mean to be scrappy innovators? It means we for a moment trust those around us to come up with new ways in being grace to those who live around our churches. Our biggest sin as leaders sometimes is when we spew out words like, “approval, committees, budgets, and make statements like, are we sure we want to do that?” Which turns people off. Why not be a little risky especially given the reality that we need to pray about new ways in remaining as viable faith communities, that have God’s heart and mission in mind when it comes to people?

Innovation happens, when we who have been called by God, to sit with others in the midst of their stuff, learn how to sit back and trust that the God who creates and sustains us on a daily basis, will still be the God who walks with us, when we’re willing to risk just a little. When we’re willing to be a little scrappy. 

I won’t apologize. I love high tech futuristic movies. I loved watching the movie Real Steel. The story about a scrappy robot, a kid with a huge heart, and an old boxer who finally woke up to what his real purpose was in the world. When I think of what it means to be scrappy innovators in the church, I think it means we don’t give up.

We stay in the ring. We try new things, new ways of loving others, and we put to rest old ways that God had used at one time and that we should give God thanks for. It means when we try and we fail, that it’s not the end of the world. It means we just get up again and give it another shot until we get it right.

More to come.


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