login/register

blog posts

Are making mistakes part of your process?

One of the exercises we frequently have leaders do in our Learning Communities is to perform a SWOT analysis of their church community as it currently is. We have them identify where they are currently experiencing Breakthrough, Frustration, Battle and Failure.

It might not come as a galloping surprise that when it comes to owning failure, my culture observation is that Americans view it as a certain kind of kryptonite these days. Many of the leaders leave this area blank or put in a pretty tepid response to it like “We love people too much.” Clearly this is an admission of nothing. ;-)

But here is what I’d like to throw out there: If you haven’t had any big failures or mistakes happen lately in your ministry, one of two things is happening. Either you’re choosing not to risk anything and you’re playing it safe, or you’re not being honest with yourself.

I’m not sure I see a lot of wiggle room on that one.

The problem is that somewhere along the way, Americans surrendered a bit of their grounding identity. Remember, America is known around the world as The Great Experiment. And key to any experiment is an acknowledgment that this particular experiment could fail. This is the land of Edison and his thousands of failed light bulbs. Of Steve Jobs and his early flameout and removal from Apple…the company he himself had founded! Of Lebron James and one of the most epic meltdowns in all of NBA Finals history. Yet each of these men would go on to claim that the turning point was the failure itself. Woven into this culture is the belief that failure is but a stepping stone towards what is to come. Experience (and the failure and mistakes that go with it) is always the best teacher. It’s not failure for failure’s sake; it’s learning how to do new things well because we made mistakes along the way to that goal.

Yet I frequently see American pastors now playing it safe, or glossing over failure so as to look more successful. Along the way, that which is good in this culture (it’s ability to be entrepreneurial) clashed with a darker part of the culture: The desire to be approved of for being successful.

So when I look at the American church, I often see people who want to be successful so badly, they won’t do the things necessary to see real Kingdom breakthrough: Going to places that are unfamiliar, being weak so his power is made strong, where mistakes and failure is understood as part of any process worth having.

There are two things I think we must face. First, our often conflicting motivation of doing things so we’ll be seen as successful. Second, the things we won’t do, the chances or risks we won’t take, for fear of failure or mistakes.

In the Bible we find a set of books littered with the mistakes and failures of great women and men who became great because of what was shaped in them through the Holy Spirit in their mis-steps.

Why should we be any different?

 

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to the 3DM Leadership Blog. You'll receive notifications of new posts by email.

8 Responses to Are making mistakes part of your process?

  1. stuart mccormack 2012/06/26 at 12:33 pm #

    Finally… Some brilliant thoughts on failures place in moving towards success. I really like this lost. Cheers mike :-)

  2. James Bauslaugh 2012/06/27 at 9:56 am #

    Great Blog Post and totally true. I am not a Lebron James fan but I have recognized that the greatest in sports have lost before they have won. Lebron proves that we must first be humbled and then pushed to the greatness of what can be achieved. I pray that God helps me to respond to my failures in the same way, because my failures are many.

    Hey Mike, tell Jo Saxton that James Bauslaugh from the Spence Network, “Uptick” group says Hi!

  3. Edrin Williams 2012/07/06 at 9:43 pm #

    It is the most liberating thing ever to free those inside of an organization from the fear of failure. All of us will fail, but only those who have this type of freedom as a part of their culture will be able to learn and grow from those mistakes.

    Great post!

  4. mon blog 2013/05/30 at 1:47 pm #

    One more thing I would like to say is that instead of trying to match all your online degree lessons on days of the week that you complete work (since the majority of people are tired when they get home), try to arrange most of your lessons on the saturdays and sundays and only 1 or 2 courses for weekdays, even if it means a little time off your weekend break. This is fantastic because on the saturdays and sundays, you will be much more rested and also concentrated on school work. Many thanks for the different suggestions I have discovered from your weblog. jdei726ya

  5. broute minougros cul 2013/05/30 at 4:46 pm #

    It’s exhausting to search out knowledgeable folks on this subject, however you sound like you recognize what you’re speaking about! Thanks jdei726ya

  6. water ionizer 2013/05/31 at 4:31 am #

    I was studying some of your blog posts on this website and I believe this internet site is rattling informative ! Continue putting up.

  7. official website 2013/05/31 at 6:10 am #

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Commentary (June 29, 2012) | A Modern Exile - 2012/06/29

    [...] Are making mistakes part of your process?: [...]

Leave a Reply

Connect with: