Having the Right Attitude Toward the Status Quo

Testing new ideas can be very productive. New ideas can also be a bust. Still, if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll connect the people that you’ve always connected. With me?

In our most recent effort to try a new idea in connecting unconnected women we offered a Monday night on-campus Bible study featuring a DVD-driven curriculum called Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. Great title. Just the thing if you want to appeal to the state-of-mind of an unconnected woman. We had just over 50 women sign up to attend.

So far, so good.

Only one problem. The size of the response displaced two small groups of women from another on-campus Bible study and forced each of them to adjust and double up with another group in another room.

How did they respond? One leader was very gracious and genuinely excited about the newly connected women. The other? Her response to my email thanking her for her willingness to be inconvenienced for the sake of connecting new women was that “our new program” didn’t take into account their “long standing use of these rooms on this night.”

Can you hear it? The farthest things from her mind are the needs of the unconnected women. She could only think about her group’s interests.

What did I do? I prayed about it. I wrestled with a response. I didn’t do what I wanted to do. But I did thank her again for her service and commitment…and then reminded her that although we have over 2000 adults connected to groups we still have another 8000 whose only connection is to our weekend service.

I’m convinced that we must actively look for opportunities to help unconnected people make a move. And I’m willing to require the inhabitants of the status quo to adjust. I want to do it in the right way with the right attitude. But I’m desperately influenced by the apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 2:4:

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

What do you think?

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Mark Howell
Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, 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 ChurchCentral.com.

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