by Rick Bundschuh
If there is one game that many church leaders have got down it’s the game of Playing It Safe. And their proficiency the game is completely understandable.
After all, who wants to answer grumbling phone calls or deal with the nitpickers who erupt like a plague whenever we break the routine, try an experiment or usher in the dirtiest word in the church vocabulary—change.
Who wants to do something that could be career ending or result in people storming out of the church? Not many of us.
Playing it safe keeps the waters calm around our little church ship…but those calm waters also assure that we are simply drifting not sailing off on the winds of adventure.
That’s where daring comes in.
Now please let me be clear. I am NOT talking about daring in the sense of messing around with historic Christian doctrine or chucking the Bible overboard in trade for some culturally appropriate version of Christianity. That’s not daring, that’s dumb…and dangerous.
I’m talking about daring in the sense of doing things in a way that are not just surprising but quite possibly better and more effective in communicating who Christ is and how to be a better (or more winsome) follower of him.
So, what might be considered daring? Well, let’s start with Sunday morning worship.
What if one Sunday the worship band unplugged, left the stage and marched among the people like minstrels of old? How would that change the experience of worship? What effect might having the music “living room close” make for that worshipper?
What if instead of having people turn off their cell phones you asked them to use them for a poll or to send texts of praise…which with available technology could be projected for all to see and share in? (See Polleverywhere.com for how to do this)
What if you mixed up the order of service (and yes, even non traditional churches have an order of service) so that it better fits the objective of the morning? Start with the message, end with worship, break the sermon into chunks, have a panel instead of a speaker.
See? You may already feel the ripples of excitement at being daring just by considering how you could monkey with what happens on Sunday morning.
Daring can be spread to others in the church.
What if you challenged people to commit to anonymously pick up the tab for the next individual, couple or small group they see praying for their meal at a public restaurant? Why? As a bit of encouragement for their public display of thankfulness. (You could even print out a little note that said as much and give it to the waitress to bring to them with their already paid check) Oh, and ask them to report back on their experiment.
Ooooh! It makes dining out a daring adventure for the whole family as they scope out the place for this clandestine mission.
Daring can be wacky good fun.
For example, many of us have warm memories of Christmas Caroling during the holiday season. And most of us realize that as culture has shifted from group singing being something common to all to singing being seen as a specialized art that the enthusiasm for Caroling has waned.
But…what if you daringly bought dozens of Kazoos (and maybe even emblazoned them with the time of your Christmas Eve Service) and went door to door with a Kazoo chorus, handing out Kazoos to the occupants with encouragement to join in the hum of well known Christmas Carols? It could be a real hoot…uh, er, I mean hummer.
Now I have only scratched the surface of “daring” but even in these examples don’t you feel the delight of adventure filling your sails?
Want more delight? Grab some of the wildest thinkers you can find, give them coffee, snacks a white board and permission to be daring and see what you come up with!
It may not be all that safe…but it will quite possibly be delightful.