As the new year begins and I’m making plans for the year, it’s become clear to me that there are three kinds of people in this world. Those who create… those who copy… and those who criticize.
After over a decade in ministry it’s obvious that some people are passionate and always seeking to improve, innovate, collaborate and create. I’d take one of these people on my team over a hundred others.
The second category is copiers. Either for lack of passion, lack of faith or simply lack of gifting they look at what the creators are doing and copy. This isn’t always a bad thing.
Lastly, there are those who criticize. The irony here is that these people often have the potential to be creators, but they are either too self-centered to engage or find too much enjoyment in criticism to ever fully get involved. I have no patience with these types of people. They will often have an argument as to why they are not involved… and no matter how poorly their argument holds up, they will always hide behind it.
Here is the beauty. I’m learning that the creators and the copiers can function in a team (or church) and collectively be a creative body. In other words, a church can be a creative and innovative church if the creators and copiers work together with a common vision.
The application to me is that church leaders and elders need to set a vision for being creative and innovative as a church body. This allows for all but the critics to be involved in birthing something unique and meaningful.
If a church’s vision is simply to maintain, however, and do what others are doing–to be really good copiers–then they will lose the creators and the eyes of the visionaries and be idle prey for the critics who will find ample material in a routine and unoriginal church.
Maybe the creative movement that can come from a church that sets innovation as a goal will be enough speed whereby many critics will fall off the train. One thing is always true of the critic, he won’t work hard enough to keep up. Or perhaps, the creative movement will sweep the critics up into it’s momentum and they will become active team members in a unified, growing community.