The Futility of the Mainstream

What’s your plan for connecting the rest of the unconnected people in your congregation?  Have a plan?  Thinking about a plan?

What’s your plan for connecting the people beyond the usual suspects who join you this Easter?  Or next Christmas Eve?  Have a plan?  Thinking about a plan?  Ever?

One thing I am absolutely convinced of is that if you want to “connect people no one else is connecting, you’re going to have to do things no one else is doing.”  Love that line (Full Disclosure: It’s not my line.  It’s an adaptation of a stunning Craig Groeschel line).

And that thinking leads me to a simple reality with profound consequences.  Here it is:

If your current strategy isn’t regularly testing the boundaries, you’re unlikely to have breakthrough results.  And it will absolutely take breakthrough results if you want to connect people no one else is connecting.

I tripped across another great line re-reading Gary Hamel’s marvelous book, The Future of Management.  Hamel said, “You are unlikely to see the future if you standing in the mainstream.”  Another line with tremendous insight.  Here’s what I take from it:

If what you’re trying can be described as tweaking last year’s model…you’re not headed for a breakthrough.  If what you’re doing to connect people can be taken straight from a strategy developed to connect and care for church members in the 60s, 70s, and 80s…you cannot expect it to yield breakthrough results in post-Christian America.

Want to connect your neighbor?   Want to connect the people in your carpool or the friend you’re developing in the next cubicle?  You are unlikely to see that future if you are standing in the mainstream.  It will take courage.  It will take a willingness to fail.  It will take an openness to new ideas.

Want to go there?

Want do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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Mark Howell
Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and

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