• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

It only takes a few

loadgame_tippingpoint_logoInnovation, the act of bringing creative ideas to life, is one of the pillars of our global vision.  I would love to see groups of WT workers contextualizing innovative approaches to discipling others in Christ.  If a fire could be lit to stir all of us towards innovative, entrepreneurial approaches, just imagine what fruit might be born.

However, trying to move a whole community in this direction at once is tough.  It really only takes a few, who are ‘full on’ in that direction, to inspire and enthuse the rest of us.

Malcolm Gladwell in his classic work, The Tipping Point, relates one of many scenarios where dramatic change was observed: “What happened is that the small number of people in the small number of situations in which the police or the new social forces had some impact started behaving very differently, and that behavior somehow spread …

Just a few ‘started behaving very differently’ and others were influenced.  A biblical example would be found in Acts 11 where a few started behaving differently by sharing the Gospel with Greek speaking Jews.  They stepped out of their then known cultural context of sharing Christ only with their people to go to a different people group.

We need to give space to ‘a few’ to inspire and motivate us towards more innovative, risk filled ministry.  We need to pray, support and facilitate ‘a few’ so that we can learn from them and be influenced by them.

Maybe you are one of the ‘few’?  Maybe you are one those willing to pray and facilitate ‘the few’?

2 Responses

  1. The innovation began in Acts 11 but the “tipping point” began in Acts 15.

    Gladwell gives some insight on the “tipping point,” but to get from innovative idea to tipping point and on to movement with momentum Jim Collins in his book GOOD TO GREAT give research based data of the whole process ending with the flywheel effect. Another helpful research based book on innovation is an older one by Rogers and Shoemaker, COMMUNICATION OF INNOVATION: A CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACH, In this book they speak of the process. First is the innovator, The innovator finds and influences a small group of early adopters followed by a much larger group that get on board that they call the “early majority.” If the innovation proves over time to be effective and advantageous there is another large group that adopts the innovative idea that they call the late majority. The beginning of the late majority getting on board is the “tipping point.” Then there are always the laggards, a relatively small group[, that will always oppose change no matter what.

    Innovative change only takes place in organizations with a corporate culture of “everything is permitted except that which is specifically forbidden.” A corporate culture of “everything is forbidden except that which is specifically permitted” is an innovation killer. An organization with a corporate culture of every thing is permitted except that which is specifically forbidden will fragment if it does not have adequate organic policies that fix necessary boundaries in the light of their purpose, vision and core values. Policies needs to be adequate but if too restrictive innovation will be discouraged. In a global organization people should be free to innovate so long as they remain within policy boundaries.

    Decentralization as opposed to delegation goes hand in hand with innovation.

    In the church the context for innovation is worship and prayer. (Acts 13.)

    • Thanks Ed. I would say it just a little bit differently. Pushing decisions down to the closest point of action (decentralization) and delegation are enhancers of innovation. Delegation is freeing people to take charge of projects and move them forward within an agreed on ‘sandbox’ of working togehter.

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