I saw foundationless change. I saw leaders trying to be innovative and make changes, try new things, but get no where due to having no foundation to build on. In other words nothing was constant or sacred (including the principles needed to build anything).--Ken
I lead out of the present, self, known because it is much easier and it does not leave me looking foolish.—Josh Payne
For me, it's FEAR - fear of losing control, fear of pain and discomfort, fear of loneliness even, b/c the majority of the people won't get it or get you as you live in that space that is different from theirs.—Wix
I'm also concerned when I hear about "rapid reproduction," this sense that risky faith-filled ministry produces more sexy, crazy results.—Aaron
It seems like the root issue keeping most all of us from leading out of the Future/Faith/Unknown is fear. Foundationless change can also be seen as a fear and lack of confidence that our plans are of the Lord in spite of the not working or happening perfectly. Josh touched on our fear of looking foolish—we all experience the expectation that as staff we are ‘supposed to know’ how to do everything well. Wix shared all the experiential consequences of leading in this manner, emphasizing how costly it is.
I also see hope as a major part of why we do or do not lead out of the Faith/Future. Walter Brueggemann, in his book The Prophetic Imagination, defines hope as this: Hope is the refusal to accept the reading of reality which is the majority opinion…hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretension of the present, daring to announce that the present to which we have all made commitments is now called into question.
I fear that with so many different strategies rolling out every couple years, that we have hope fatigue. I sense that we have been doing so many things okay to below average, rather than a few things well, that many of us do not have something to point to that ‘proves’ so to speak that it’s worthwhile to hope. Personally, hoping in something that does not end up coming to being is extremely discouraging. It’s so easy for me to blame myself for a lack of faith/spiritual fervor/etc, question whether or not God really wants to work on campus, and wonder if being on staff is truly where it’s at. Especially when we have a culture that honors ‘success,’ I can easily start to believe I’m on the outside and not doing something right.
I would also go back to Brueggemann’s quote that emphasizes the subversive-ness of hope. It’s extremely hard to admit that what we have been seeking after things that are ‘just okay’ or ‘good but not great.’ Hope can be threatening—to ourselves and to others, as it opens up the possibility for God to work outside of the current structures/processes/etc that are set in place.
To bridge this gap between where we started as Campus Crusade and where we find ourselves now, I believe we need to look for ways to combat fear and foster hope, especially to staff on the field.
To start the discussion, I would ask these questions of you:
Would those whom you lead describe you as hopeful? How do you communicate/reflect hope in your current ministry context? Do you have hope fatigue? What is the major cause of it for you?