by Joani Schultz
I. Was. Stuck.
Frustrated. Trapped. Like a helpless victim waiting for somebody to come by and pull me out.
Like villages in Nepal during the earthquake, the church world we love is crumbling around us.
Results of the research from the Pew Forum reveal seismic cultural shifts and dismal statistics about the church. The number of Americans who identify themselves as Christian is shrinking—and shrinking dramatically.
Josh Packard’s book, Church Refugees, documents the Dones: committed Christians who are rapidly leaving the church. (Thankfully, they’re not done with God—but they are done with the institutional church.)
With all this news swirling around me, I felt helpless.
Let me tell you how God broke through the rubble surrounding me. May God lift you up, too.
I remembered God.
Like an earthquake victim who hears a rescue crew calling out above the rubble, I began to hope.
Then God miraculously pulled me up, saying, “Remember me? I’m always here. And my power in you is greater than the world’s. How’s that sound?”
He reminded me of Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:19-20: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
A surge of hope flowed through me.
I took personal responsibility.
No victim mentality. Instead of wallowing and blaming everything and everyone outside myself, I wondered what would happen if I actually believed God. What could God do through me?
I reflected on who and what God has placed around me.
I realized that it was no coincidence that, just the week before, I’d devoured a slew of innovation resources, including…
• Havard’s innovation process
• Creativity, Inc. about the innovation process at Pixar.
• Kickbox, about how to get every employee to own innovation.
• Group’s own innovation process
• Google’s Innovation Sprint process, a speedy way to determine an idea’s chance of success.
I gave thanks for these resources, who were showing me ways to get unstuck.
I took action.
With an amazing team, lots of prayer, and God cheering us on, I led our teams through a quick-paced process of breakthrough thinking. Not only were we energized, but we also uncovered incredible ways to uniquely reach people today with Jesus’ love and hope.
Stay tuned…details to come!