Thursday, March 24, 2005

Risking Failure

I wrote below about Cedarbrook being in a time of transition. As new ministries are added the web of communication and responsibility gets more and more complex. I've worked hard at delegating authority so the success of any one ministry doesn't rely on me. The "I have to touch everything in the church" mentality that many pastors have is what condemns their church to stay small.

But letting go also means risking failure, at least in the short run. We've had very few meltdowns in our existence. Most, if not every big event we've offered has gone off incredibly well. But that's not reality. There will be meltdowns. There will be failures along the way. And, as much as that is disappointing at the time, it's really a necessary step in the process of transferring responsibility from the few to the many. Every failure exposes the weaknesses in the system that we can't see on paper. We can get mad at the mistakes (and maybe revert back to consolidating decision-making to a few) or we can be proactive and address the issues to make sure they don't happen again.

I believe that God has called Cedarbrook to reach hundreds of people, but that will only happen if leadership and decision-making is released to an ever-increasing circle of individuals. My input and the input of the LEAD Team will always be there to guide our direction, but we can't micro-manage if we want to develop our full potential. And we have to be willing to embrace failure as part of the growth process.

Why do I tell you all this? Because the same is true in life. We can stay "small" spiritually/emotionally by not risking failure - playing it safe - maintaining high control. Or we can "get big" by being willing to embrace failure and learn from it rather than running from it.

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