Maintenance or innovation? This choice was evident in a recent decision at church. One option involved maintenance. Doing what we are doing and know we can do and are good at. Another option involved innovation. The opportunity to branch out and try some new ways of doing things. Boy, does maintenance feel comfortable and familiar! Why not just stay with tried and true? It’s less risky.
Innovation involves trying something new. It can be risky. Innovation can entail experimentation. It can have a learning curve and aren’t we all overwhelmed already?
And innovation can involve failure. But so can maintenance when you’re left in the dust doing the “same old same old.” Many companies have gone under because they did not innovate.
How do we decide? In the case of the decision at church, we asked ourselves what is in the best interests of the church overall going forward? What is best for the church – not any one person or project – but the church as a whole? What will help the church to be effective and faithful in fulfilling its ministry?
Again and again we face the same choice in many ways in our lives. Maintenance or innovation? The tried and true or the potential of something new? Something new can be just a fad or a trend without much substantive improvement. The old ways can be the best ways. They can also be obsolete and outmoded and prevent important progress. A spirit of discernment is needed to navigate the waters. This kind of assessment involves looking at a bigger picture. What are the implications over time well into the future? What are the consequences to the organization? The institution? The world? Discernment involves intentionally considering a larger reality and not just me here and now.
Lent is a time for such reflection and discernment.
Lectionary readings for today:
Prayer: May we not be afraid to change. May we not be afraid to resist change. And may Divine Love be our guide. Amen.