So this blogging thing is harder than I thought. It's been 3 weeks, so I'm still getting disciplined in it.
I'm reading a book by leadership speaker Seth Godin called "Tribes". Working with students the concept of tribes is not new. Youth are notorious for running in their tribes (not to be confused with cliques). All of us belong to some tribe or another. A tribe carries a sense of community, belonging, purpose, passion, and intensity in everything it has in common. For us in ministry, the pull is that tribes need leaders. The caveat is that anyone in the tribe has the potential to be a leader. We need those leaders, especially leaders who are ready and willing to do things differently and to think outside the box.
Which brings me to the section I'm reading right now-the difference between factories and tribes. Now, were talking organizations here. Companies. Corporations. But for our purposes, let's say, oh . . . the church. Interesting things about factories: they're made to produce steadily (a product or a service), without major risk, and cut costs as efficiently as possible. Factories are efficient. Factories offer stability. Factories offer assurance that the same, mundane, routine job will be there in the same, mundane, and routine way in 20 years. What factories don't offer is free agents. Out of the box thinkers. Risk-takers. Passion. TRIBES. If I asked you what your dream job would be, chances are you wouldn't say 20 effervescent years on an assembly line making toothpaste caps. Most of us would want to see the scope of our dream reach far and wide. Most of us would want to be our own boss; control our our own schedule; create things or services we're actually proud of; have input in what we do. Listen to what Seth says:
"The factory is part of the fabric of our lives. It's there because it pays, and it's there because it's steady, and it's there because we want it. What you won't find in a factory is a motivated tribe making a difference. And what you won't find outside a factory is a tribe of customers, excited about what's to come."
He goes on to say that the organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission. A tribe . . . of leaders. Leading a tribe . . . that get it. Whether it's a company or a church. All of us know by now that these are unstable times we're in right now. And in unstable times growth comes from leaders who create change and engage their organizations.
So the question I am wrestling with and propose to the meager number of you who might by chance mull over this humble blog is . . . are our churches (is my church) a factory . . . or a tribe?? Hmmmm . . .
So, it's a great, easy read. I dare you to read it.